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Environmental Groups Call For Scrutiny Of Natural Gas Permits in Oregon

Courtesy of Columbia Riverkeeper

Environmental groups are asking the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to give careful scrutiny to a natural gas plant near Hermiston that started construction without the proper permit. 

Perennial WindChaser won approval to build a natural gas power plant in 2015. But the company has taken a long time to start building.

It did build a road this year - right before the state's deadline to start construction. But the company didn't have the required stormwater permit.

Brett VandenHeuvel is with Columbia Riverkeeper. He said Perennial would have had to pay new, higher carbon fees if it delayed construction. And he says the Oregon Department of Energy is giving the company a free pass. "We don't understand why Oregon would throw this lifeline to a fracked gas power plant when we should be promoting clean energy," VandenHeuvel said.

His group has filed a legal challenge to the state’s decision. The Department of Energy declined to comment because of the litigation.

Copyright 2020 OPB.

Copyright 2020 KLCC.