Air Permit Public Hearing for Vancouver Oil Terminal

Air Permit Public Hearing for Vancouver Oil Terminal
A fully loaded unit oil train moves through the eastern Columbia Gorge on the Washington side of the Columbia River. (photographer: Stan Hall)

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

1:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Gaiser Hall at Clark College
1933 Fort Vancouver Way
Vancouver, WA 98661

Please note: The hearing hours are from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a break between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. At 4 p.m., we will be holding a rally at the hearing site. Please come take part in the rally and wear RED!

The Tesoro Savage oil terminal proposed for Vancouver, WA is nearing the end of its environmental review with the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC). As a part of that process the project needs a final air permit, without which the terminal would not be able to operate. 

At a capacity of 360,000 barrels per day of crude oil, the terminal would require 36 additional mile-long trains to pass through the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area each week. The Tesoro terminal would release smog-forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs), diesel exhaust, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and other pollutants linked to increased cancer rates. This obviously has significant negative impacts on local air quality both in Vancouver and throughout the region, including the Columbia River Gorge. Tesoro Savage tries to downplay this impact.

Here’s where you come in: Tell EFSEC not to sacrifice the health of the Gorge and Vancouver’s residents, schoolchildren, and businesses for Tesoro’s massive oil-by-rail scheme.

Click here for the official EFSEC air permit website.

Submit a comment online today and attend the hearing on June 7. There are sample talking comments you can copy and paste into the comment form below (or just type your own). Select "Notice of Construction Permit (NOC) Air Operating Permit" from the drop-down box at the top.

Sample Comments

Dear Chair Lynch and Members of EFSEC:

I am deeply concerned about the safety, public health, environmental, and economic impacts of the Tesoro Savage (“Vancouver Energy”) oil terminal proposed in Vancouver, Washington. Roughly one year after an oil train derailed, spilled, and burned in the small town of Mosier, Oregon, I have not forgotten that oil trains are reckless. Since the derailment, I have also learned that the oil terminal will routinely pollute the air in the Vancouver-Portland metro area. EFSEC should deny the air pollution permit because:
  • Tesoro Savage has not demonstrated that it will protect the health and safety of Vancouver residents and others in the region who may be impacted by air pollution from the proposed oil train terminal.
  • Tesoro Savage has not addressed the 36 trains per week which would be required to service this terminal and the impact those trains would have on the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, particularly in the event of a derailment explosion like what was experienced last year in Mosier, OR. These train cars are unsafe and inadequate to transport this commodity.
  • Tesoro Savage makes unrealistic assumptions about the quantity of toxic air pollution it will release. In particular, Tesoro Savage underestimates the terminal’s potential volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions. VOCs are toxic and contribute to the formation of smog, a respiratory irritant.
  • Tesoro Savage failed to model accurately the dispersion of VOCs and the potential formation of smog as a result of this project.
  • Tesoro understates the amount of pollution associated with the project. In turn, Tesoro Savage the operation as a “minor source of air pollution.” The project will, in fact, be a major source of air pollution including VOCs and carbon dioxide.
  • Tesoro Savage understates the greenhouse gas pollution impact of its project by ignoring upstream and downstream sources of pollution.
  • Tesoro Savage proposes to rely on mitigation measures that will be difficult or impossible to enforce. For instance, Tesoro insists it will only handle oil with low vapor pressures. However, Bakken crude oil can have high vapor pressure. EFSEC should not rely on Tesoro’s unsure mitigation to protect the health and safety of Vancouver residents.
Lastly, the permit fails to address all of the air pollution impacts of Tesoro’s proposed operations. Where the permit does not address mobile sources of air pollution (such as ships or trains), the public is relying on EFSEC to fully assess these impacts and include this analysis in its Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).

Please email if you have any questions or concerns.
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