Public Comment Opportunities

This calendar includes opportunities for the public to provide input on agency policy and actions by attending and/or speaking at public hearings, or submitting written comments during open comment periods for which start and end dates are given.  Click entry for more information.

 

References/Information on Hearings & Comment Periods:

Washington Dept of Ecology Public Involvement Calendar:  The Dept of Ecology lists all current public comment periods related to Washington State rule making within their jurisdiction, which will typically involve permits involving air quality, water quality, or waste disposal, among others.  These often related to climate change issues, such as those listed below.

Washington State – Clean Air Rule: Washington State’s Dept of Ecology is working to develop a rule that will limit carbon pollution in the state.  It is a process that will involve multiple state agencies and they see it as crucial that they hear what people of Washington think.  They have held webinars and in person forums for discussion and input.  In early March 2016 the proposed regulation was withdrawn by Ecology to incorporate changes that would respond to comments already received.  It will again be released in spring 2016 with further opportunity for public comment.   


Longview Millennium Bulk Coal Terminals:  

Millenium Bulk Terminals is proposing the construction of a coal export terminal in Longview, Washington. If this terminal is built, 18 one mile long coal trains will enter the city daily. The Department of Ecology released a Draft EIS on April 29, 2016 outlining specifically how the construction and operation of the terminal will impact the environment. Verbal, written and digital comments were accepted from April 29, 2016 and will end on June 13, 2016. There were public hearings on May 24th in Longview, May 26th in Spokane, and June 2nd in Pasco. Following the comment period a separate DEIS by the US Army Corps of Engineers is expected to be released in July 2016 with another 45 day comment period following. The content of the final EIS will be drafted based on the comments received and will inform federal agencies’ decisions on relevant permits.

– The proposed terminal is projected to export 44 million tons of coal a year.

-Coal dust released by the incoming trains can significantly increase the risk of lung disease and asthma in the towns surrounding the rail-line.

-18 mile long coal trains will increase the already severe rail congestion in the Columbia River area.

For more background see Sightline Institute report.  

LNG Refinery and Export Terminal: The Canadian Waterside Energy has added a proposed LPG (liquid petroleum gas) terminal to their proposed referring at Longview, WA.  These will require Port of Longview approval, state environmental reviews and the approval of Governor Inslee, as will the previously proposed Riverside Refining Oil finery. Watch for updates.


Recent – Closed Comment Opportunities:


Kalama Methanol Plant: Northwest Innovation Worksis proposing to construct and operate a methanol production plant in an industrial park owned by the Port of Kalama to manufacture methanol from natural gas.  The natural gas will come to the plant by a pipeline to be constructed by Northwest Pipeline GP.  As part of the same development, the Port is proposing a new deep draft marine terminal facility to load methanol onto ships.  The Draft EIS has been released for public review and comment and available for viewing and downloading in the Project Library.  The comment period was to close on April 18, 2016, but was suspended by NWIW to reassess.  For more information see Columbia River Keepers , Sightline and the Port of Kalama SEPA site, where comments can be submitted.


Vancouver Oil Terminal– Tesoro Savage Energy Distribution TerminalThe comment period for the Tesoro Savage Vancouver Energy Distribution Terminal (Proposed Project) Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was extended to January 22, 2016 and is now closed.

The DEIS had been available on the EFSEC website. The DEIS evaluates impacts of the Proposed Project from construction, onsite operations, and offsite rail and vessel transportation, including a cumulative environmental impact analysis.

For more information please contact Sonia E. Bumpus 360-664-1363 or by email at sbumpus@utc.wa.gov.


Gateway Pacific Coal Terminal (Ferndale, WA / Cherry Point): 

A coal terminal has been proposed in Whatcom County, WA by SSA Marine. This would be the largest coal terminal in all of North America, exporting 48 million tons of coal per year. The construction of this coal terminal would lead to coal dust particulate matter and greenhouse gas pollution, as well as impacts of rail traffic and diesel exhaust from 16 additional trains each day

In response to this issue, two Draft Environmental Impact Statements are being processed. One is by the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the other jointly by the Washington Department of Ecology and Whatcom County. They are expected to be released in late 2016, followed by hearings and a 45-day comment period. They will be the last opportunity for public comment on this project. 

The Lummi Nation has a demand to the US Army Corp of Engineers that they deny the permit application because it endangers the tribe’s treaty-protected fishing rights.  Swinish and Tulalip Tribes have supported their demands. For background see:  Lummi Opposition

The EIS process could potentially be complete by late 2017, when multiple permits will need to be obtained.  On April 1, 2016, the applicants for the Gateway Pacific Terminal requested the EIS process be suspended for 45 days.  Their request to the Dept. of Ecology indicates that the Lummi Tribe’s request to the Army Corps of Engineers was a factor. 

For more information, see:  Sightline Report.

 

Submit information about upcoming public comment opportunities to us at: admin@cascadiaclimateaction.org.


Closed Comment Periods: 

BOEM Releases Revised Analysis for Chukchi Sea Oil and Gas Lease Sale 193 – Deadline December 222014 

In response to a federal court order, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today released the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for Chukchi Sea Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Lease Sale 193. BOEM prepared the draft SEIS using the best available science, and working in close consultation with Alaska Native tribes, federal partner agencies, state and local governments, stakeholders and the public.

The Notice of Availability for the Draft Supplemental EIS will publish in the Federal Register on Friday, Nov. 7, initiating a 45-day public comment period, which will end Monday, Dec. 22. During this time, BOEM will hold seven public hearings in Alaska, will conduct government-to-government consultation meetings with Alaska Native tribes, and will also accept public comments through regulations.gov. The Draft Supplemental EIS is available at: www.boem.gov/ak193/  Greenpeace also has their site set up for submitting comments via their organization.

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Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal Proposed for Coos Bay, OR with pipelines from Canada and Rocky Mountains.  Comment Deadline 1/17/2015

For information see:  Sierra Club  or Columbia River Keepers for information, including the following:

A company called “Oregon LNG” proposes a mega liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the heart of the Columbia River Estuary. The project includes building hundreds of miles of new, high-pressure gas pipeline that would cross salmon-bearing streams, the Columbia River, farms, forestland, and close to homes. Because Asia pays up to four times more for natural gas than the western U.S. price, West Coast LNG export could dramatically increase gas production in the United States and Canada. A single LNG “Super Max” tanker could carry away 8% of the entire U.S. daily natural gas consumption. Needless to say, LNG export is bad for our climate, our salmon, and Columbia River communities.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) announced a critical public comment period to decide whether to issue key permits for Oregon LNG’s terminal and pipeline. Oregon LNG cannot build its terminal and gas pipeline without permits from DEQ and the Corps.

Download Riverkeeper’s fact sheet to learn more and read project-specific comment suggestions. Read the Public Notice and download LNG’s application.

Here are three simple actions you can take to help protect endangered salmon from LNG development.

• Send in your comment today
• Spread the word! Use this link to easily tell friends and followers on social media: http://bit.ly/1ApCccH
• Prefer written comments? Mail your comments urging the agencies to reject LNG with the addresses listed below (comment deadline – January 17, 2015 at 5:00 p.m,):
Important: include the application number, NWP-2005-748, in the subject line.

Send Comments to the Corps:
Email: OregonLNG@usace.army.mil
Mail: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Attn: Richard Chong (CENWP-OD-G)
PO Box 2946
Portland, OR 97208-2946

Send Comments to DEQ:
Email: 401publiccomments@deq.or.us
Mail: Oregon DEQ, NW Region
Attn: 401 Water Quality Certification Coordinator
2020 SW 4th Ave., Suite 400
Portland, OR 97201-4953

EPA Proposed Clean Power Plant Rule – Deadline December 1, 2014 (previously Oct 16)

Note: Comments on the Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule must reference Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0602

On June 2, 2014, EPA proposed a commonsense plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants. States, cities and businesses across the country are already taking action to address the risks of climate change. EPA’s proposal builds on those actions and is flexible – reflecting that different states have a different mix of sources and opportunities, and reflecting the important role of states as full partners with the federal government in cutting pollution. This proposal will maintain an affordable, reliable energy system, while cutting pollution and protecting our health and environment now and for future generations.

NWCAA Shell crude-oil rail terminal at Anacortes– Closed  October 16, 2014.  

Public comments were sought on a  draft permit  for potential air releases from proposed Shell crude-oil rail terminal at Anacortes.  Deadline will be October 16, 2014 at end of Public Hearing that starts at 6:00 pm at Public Library 1220 10th St, Anacortes, WA.

Enhanced Tank Car Standards for Flammable Trains  – Closed  September 30, 2014.

Proposed regulations to impose operational requirements for transportation of large volume of Class 3 flammable liquids; improvement in tank car standards and others “designed to lessen the frequency and consequences of train accidents/incidents (train accidents) involving certain trains transporting a large volume of flammable liquids.”

Shell Rail Spur at Anacortes Refinery Permit – Closed August 28, 2014.

Opportunity to Comment on Requested Permit Ended August 28th.  The Modified Mitigated Determination of Nonsignificance (MDNS) of the Shoreline Substantial Development/Variance Permit PL13-0468 for the Shell Purget Sound Refinery rail spur to allow for pumping of oil from rail cars into the refinery.  See the proposal here.  :  A comment letter from Earth Justice and other environmental groups is available on the RESources website.   Contact: Rein Attemann, Washington Environmental Council, rein@wecprotects.org.