Opponents of a proposed natural gas pipeline in Clatsop County will have another month to submit public comments and objections.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) agreed Wednesday to extend a public comment period from July 11 to Aug. 12 for filing interventions and protests.
The decision follows a request made last week by Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden asking FERC to extend the period. He also pointed out errors in the original notice issued by FERC.
This is simply too short a time period, Wyden stated. I therefore respectfully request that you extend the time period for comments and interventions.
Wyden certainly stood up for an open and transparent process and we certainly appreciate that, said Daniel Serres, conservation director with Columbia Riverkeeper, a group opposed to the project.
Two interrelated proposals are on the table for discussion. One would expand an existing natural gas pipeline by adding 140 miles of 36-inch diameter pipeline between Sumas and Woodland, Wash. The second, being proposed by Oregon LNG and the Oregon Pipeline Company, would connect with Williams Northwest Pipeline in Washington and install 86 miles of pipeline to an export and import facility in Warrenton.
The facility had originally been proposed as an import terminal, but is now being considered by the companies for bidirectional capabilities. The pipeline has a modified route now as well, reaching the coast by a more direct route west.
Oregon LNG and the Oregon Pipeline Company submitted their amendments to FERC on June 7.
Wyden pointed out in his statement that an error was made in the initial notice of the changes, mixing up the Pacific Connector Pipeline, a proposed pipeline with a terminal on Coos Bay, with the Oregon LNG proposed pipeline and terminal in Warrenton.
This was extremely confusing to many stakeholders and I do not believe commission staff made sufficient efforts to notify citizens that the mention of Pacific Connector was an error, Wyden said.
From our perspective, they really needed to issue a new notice and allow more time, Serres said.
The two interrelated projects had different deadlines for comment periods, a confusing aspect for people, Serres said.