LNG gets an OK in court

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ASTORIA, Ore. — A federal court has thrown out a lawsuit against the U.S. Coast Guard that challenged its approval of proposed liquefied natural gas shipping on the Columbia River.

In an opinion filed Tuesday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the case because it felt the Coast Guard's approval was not "final agency action," and therefore it lacked the jurisdiction for a review.

The conservation group Columbia Riverkeeper sued the Coast Guard for issuing a letter of recommendation in 2009 that suggested LNG could be transported safely on the river with some adjustments. The group said that the agency did not comply with the National Environmental Policy Act or the Endangered Species Act by not waiting for environmental assessments.