A state energy panel has unanimously voted to recommend disapproving a massive oil-by-rail terminal proposed along the Columbia River in Washington.
The $210 million project was created to transfer the equivalent of 360,000 barrels of oil a day of crude oil from trains onto ships for transport down the Columbia River to refineries along the West Coast. The details came during a special meeting held in Olympia when the Washington State Energy Site Evaluation Council announced it had completed the project's Final Environmental Impact Statement.
The proposed site is just across the Columbia River from Hayden Island.
The Final Environmental Impact Statement is an updated version of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, which was released in November 2015.
She noted that the council weighed more than 250,000 public comments in "probably the longest process in this council's history with issues of great significance that have never been faced by this council before".
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Vancouver Energy and its supporters have said the terminal would bring needed jobs and development to the Port of Vancouver.
Last week the state panel, which has been evaluating the proposed oil terminal since 2013, said the project has five significant unavoidable impacts that can not be fully mitigated if it were to be built.
Tribes, environmental groups and municipalities such as the city of Vancouver lined up against the project.
"We are extremely disappointed, especially after a review of more than four years in a process that state law says should take one year".
While the "likelihood of occurrence of the potential for oil spills may be low, the consequences of the events could be severe", the study said.
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