Please sign our petition today and join us in telling the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to say no to a proposed air permit for a renewable diesel refinery in Port Westward, Oregon. Houston-based NEXT Renewables LLC proposes to build and operate a renewable diesel refinery at Port Westward, a critical bend in the Columbia River Estuary. The proposed refinery would convert seed oil, waste oil, or waste animal fats and tallows into renewable diesel. This is not a healthy plan for communities or the environment.
The proposed refinery project also includes a 400-car rail yard, and it faces fierce opposition from neighbors and uprail communities because of its potential to harm sensitive resources at Port Westward and expand rail traffic through Columbia County with mile-long trains. DEQ’s draft permit shows that the project will emit significant hazardous air pollution, particulate matter, and smog-forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This is a community with residents, family farmers, businesses, and a nearby Buddhist monastery.
Amid this climate crisis, we need to take into account communities who will be the most impacted by hazards and be cognizant of compounding threats to health and the environment. We urge DEQ to reject the air permit proposed for NEXT.
Oregon DEQ has published a draft air pollution permit for the NEXT proposal, and DEQ is accepting written comments right now. Please sign our petition before Wednesday May 25th, 2022 to tell the Department of Environmental Quality they shouldn’t let this happen.
If you would like to submit your own written public testimony, you can also email your thoughts to [email protected] by 5 PM, Thursday, May 26, 2022. Here is a NEXT DEQ Comment Guide you can use to write your testimony.
(Photo above courtesy of Columbia Riverkeeper)