LONGVIEW — Regional environmentalists are criticizing the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s recent decision to renew air quality permits for a Clatskanie-area ethanol plant, calling the approval a “half-step” toward allowing the company to restart its controversial crude oil operations.
But Global Partners, the company that owns the Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery, says it has no plans to restart crude oil shipping at the terminal. And DEQ expressly prohibited using the ethanol permit to store or ship crude oil.
“If we were to restart those (crude oil) operations, we would communicate with the community in advance,” Global Partners spokeswoman Catie Kerns said in a Thursday email to The Daily News.
Global Partners bought the plant in 2012, about three years after the bio-refinery stopped producing ethanol.
Global never restarted ethanol production, and instead the company asked DEQ to approve its ethanol storage and shipping equipment for crude oil shipping, said Dan Serres, conservation director for Columbia Riverkeeper, a Hood River, Ore., environmental organization.