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A public hearing at Klamath Community College (KCC) on Monday will provide the opportunity for residents to express opinions on the removal-fill permit application for the proposed Jordan Cove Energy Project.

The public event will be from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Monday at KCC’s Commons Building. It is one of five hearing planned regionally by the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) to collect public comments prior to rendering a decision on the Jordan Cove’s application. Additional events are planned in Central Point on Tuesday, Canyonville on Wednesday, in North Bend on Thursday, and in Salem on Tuesday, Jan. 15.

About the project

The Jordan Cove Energy Project is a proposed natural gas pipeline and terminal to ship liquefied natural gas to international markets in Asia. It is comprised of three elements: a slip and access channel for transport ships near Coos Bay, an export terminal, and a pipeline stretching from a hub near Malin to the terminal on the Oregon coastline. The pipeline and terminal would connect thousands of miles of existing pipelines stretching as far away as the Midwest and Canada.

The removal-fill permit is a requirement for developments that result in materials either being filled-in or removed from wetlands and waterways. A 60-day public comment period for the permit application has been open since Dec. 6. All public comments related to the application and project must be received later than Feb. 3 at 5 p.m. to be considered.

Application revisions

The application was originally applied for in November 2017, but has undergone several revisions, delaying its approval. Public review and comment periods aid in DSL’s judgment on the permit application, as well as what provisions may be added to the permit that the applicant must address.

The project developer is Jordan LNG, a subsidiary of Canada-based Pembina Pipeline Corp. The Jordan Cove Energy Project has been in development for several years, and while traversing the cavalcade of permits required before construction can proceed, the company has been proactive philanthropically distributing a multitude of community grants. The company has also been active politically, contributing over $150,000 in political campaign contributions to political action committees and local and state candidates who have largely supported the proposed project.

Proponents, opponents

The project has received public endorsement from several groups, including Klamath County Commissioners, and most recently Malin City Council. However, not all are in favor. From its inception the proposed project has had its share of harsh critics, including the Klamath Tribes, landowners, environmental groups, and concerned citizens.

The opposition movement against the Jordan Cove Energy Project has included several protests, and comment-writing workshops were held last summer and this month to better coordinate focused opposition. Prior to Monday’s hearing a protest rally is being coordinated at 4:30 p.m. at KCC Building 7. Doors for the public hearing will open at 5:15 p.m., at which time those who wish to comment are asked to sign-up prior to the start of the hearing.

Prior to construction, Jordan Cove/LNG must acquire a removal-fill permit and other various authorizations related to the use of state-owned and submersible land. Regulatory jurisdiction of project lands is covered both state and federal agencies, while the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has the exclusive oversight authority for placement of LNG terminals. Other agencies involved in permits and regulation of the proposed project include the Department of Land Conservation and Development, and the Department of Environmental Quality.

Application available

The permit application is available for download on the DSL main website. Copies are also available at public libraries in Klamath County, Jackson County, the Sutherlin Library, the Coos Bay Public Library, and the Winston Branch Library.

The Central Point public hearing will take place at the Jackson County Expo Padgham Pavilion on Tuesday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The hearing in Canyonville will be at Seven Feathers Casino’s Cedar Room on Wednesday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The North Bend hearing is scheduled for Thursday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Mill Casino’s Salmon Room West. The final hearing, schedule for Tuesday, Jan. 15 in Salem from 5:30 to 8 p.m., will take place at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Auditorium.

In addition to the five public hearings, people may also submit comments via email at jordancove@dsl.state.or.us, via fax at 503-378-4844, or by mail to Oregon Department of State Lands, 775 Summer St. NE, Suite 100, Salem, OR 97301. A web form for submitting comments is also available at https://bit.ly/2BRU9pi.

email kliedtke@heraldandnews.com @kliedtkeHN