Late yesterday, the Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) issued its formal written report and recommendation to Governor Inslee on the Tesoro-Savage oil shipping terminal application. In their recommendation, the Council unanimously recommended denial of the oil terminal in Vancouver, Washington for multiple reasons. If built, Tesoro-Savage would bring in 360,000 barrels of crude oil in five fully loaded oil trains every day.
“EFSEC, tribal nations, community leaders, and people across Washington State have spoken,” said Rebecca Ponzio, campaign director of Stand Up To Oil. “We urge Governor Inslee to take decisive and swift action to deny this terminal. Vancouver and communities all along the Columbia River threatened by oil are ready to move forward with cleaner and safer economic development opportunities.”
EFSEC based its recommendation to deny the terminal on the 2016 adjudicative hearing where expert witnesses presented testimony on the impacts of the project, the findings and analysis in the Final Environmental Impact Statement, released on November 20, 2017, and the review process for draft air and water permits for the proposed project. The final decision falls to Governor Jay Inslee who will have 60 days to make a decision once the EFSEC process is final.
In recommending denial of the project, EFSEC highlighted a broad range of harms and risks to people and the environment. The Council also questioned the alleged benefits of the massive oil shipping terminal. The Report to the Governor states that “the risk posed to life, safety, property, and the environment by the (Tesoro Savage project) is just too high.” EFSEC specifically highlighted unacceptable risks to tribal communities, rail-line communities, and low-income and minority communities.
EFSEC concluded, “Considering the entire adjudicative record, the FEIS, and all other findings from this [application review] process, the Council finds and concludes that the [application] should be forwarded to the Governor with a recommendation to reject the application.”
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