Zenith Vitality to section out crude oil at Portland terminal


The corporate, which owns a controversial oil terminal in an industrial space in Northwest Portland, is proposing to transition from crude oil to renewable gas over the following 5 years. The transfer comes after the town of Portland and a state atmosphere company refused key permits that will have allowed Zenith Vitality to increase operations alongside the Willamette River.

Permits have been denied as a result of they didn’t align with the town’s local weather motion targets.

On Thursday, the Texas-based firm stated it has filed for a brand new land use certification allow that Zenith says will assist Portland attain targets from its Local weather Emergency Motion Plan and 2035 Complete Plan. That is the third time the corporate has utilized for a allow known as LUCS.

A long train with round oil cars can be seen on the far side of a cinderblock fence topped by barbed wire.

Oil automobiles line up for unloading on the Zenith Vitality Oil Terminal in Portland’s Northwest Industrial Space. The Texas-based firm says it plans to section out crude oil use at its Portland facility over the following 5 years.

Cassandra Profita / OPB

In an announcement, Zenith stated it plans to “instantly cut back” crude oil storages and {that a} full phase-out will happen in 5 years.

“The general public ought to belief our dedication, which is why our new software contains vital accountability measures,” stated Grady Reimer, Zenith Vitality’s vp of US Operations West. “We’ve set a transparent timeline for our motion, and each metropolis regulators and third-party specialists can have entry to our web site for inspection.”

Zenith’s Portland terminal receives crude oil and renewable gas from trains, shops the gas in tanks, and sends it by means of pipes to outgoing ships. The corporate has stated it plans to increase its switch and delivery of renewable fuels.

Final yr, Zenith regarded to resume an air-quality allow with the state’s Division of Environmental High quality, however Portland’s Bureau of Improvement Service denied the appliance. Town stated the growth of Zenith was not in keeping with Portland’s plan to scale back the town’s reliance on fossil fuels. A day earlier than the town refused a LUCS allow, Zenith introduced it might enhance the quantity of low-carbon, renewable diesel at its Portland facility.

Petroleum crude trains on a rail line outside the sandwich zenith terminals between the Willamette River and Forest Park in Portland's Northwest Industrial District.

Petroleum crude trains on a rail line outdoors the sandwich zenith terminals between the Willamette River and Forest Park in Portland’s Northwest Industrial District. This week Zenith pledged to cease delivery crude by means of the town throughout the subsequent 5 years.

Tony Schick / OPB

Zenith appealed to the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals to disclaim Portland’s LUCS allow. The board dominated that the town has the ability to disclaim zenith approval, however added that the town wanted extra proof to help its argument that the undertaking conflicts with current land-use targets.

Zenith then took LUBA’s determination to the Oregon Courtroom of Appeals. The corporate remains to be working below its current air high quality allow whereas authorized challenges are pending.

Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability stated it might not remark to verify whether or not it has acquired a brand new LUCS software or on subsequent steps.

Atmosphere group vows to proceed investigation

Miles Johnson, senior lawyer for Columbia Riverkeeper, stated Zenith’s determination to section out crude signifies the corporate understands the gas is a factor of the previous. Johnson stated his environmental group can be carefully monitoring the corporate’s proposal.

“They’ve stated, ‘Oh, we need to flip right into a renewable gas hub,'” he stated. “Okay, okay, renewable fuels are a very scorching matter proper now, however there’s not all the time loads of consensus about what we imply once we say ‘renewable.

Johnson stated protests from Portland’s environmental neighborhood influenced Portland’s denial of permits. He stated that, if Zenith ultimately runs out of crude, it’s going to inevitably imply that crude is not going by means of Portland, its surrounding communities and waterways.

However Johnson warns “this isn’t the top of the zenith” or public concern for the location.

“It could be nice to take crude out of the vitality combine,” Johnson stated. “However we’re additionally actually , is that this promise enforceable.”


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