“(The council) cannot meet its obligations to assure the public that the proposal contains adequate safeguards for public welfare and protection and to ensure the proposal will have minimal adverse environmental consequences,” reads the DNR filing.
Vancouver Energy would handle up to 360,000 barrels per day of crude oil via an average of four 120-car trains per day through the Columbia River Gorge. The company, a joint venture of Tesoro Corp. and Savage Cos., intends to prove to the council it can operate the terminal safely.
“Through four weeks of adjudication, we feel our experts have made a strong case for how Vancouver Energy will benefit the community, region and country, with jobs, added economic value and reduced reliance on foreign oil,” Vancouver Energy spokesman Jeff Hymas said.
Another issue raised last week was the need for the project. Energy analyst Ian Goodman said in a filing that “not only is there no economic need for the (terminal) in Washington, but this testimony will show that it is likely not in Washington’s public interest.”
Vancouver Energy, which presented its testimony first, will get a chance next week to rebut some of the arguments made by opponents.
“We look forward to the opportunity next week to provide additional testimony, to correct misrepresentations about the project and provide the council with further evidence for why the proposed terminal should be approved,” Hymas said.
After hearings wrap up, the council will weigh what it’s learned and give the governor a recommendation on the project’s approval, denial or conditional approval. The governor then gets final say, though the decision can be appealed to the state Supreme Court.
For the fifth and final week of adjudication, the hearings return to Vancouver. The hearings are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Clark College conference center at 18700 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd. Public testimony will be taken Friday starting at 1 p.m.