August 24, 2021
Multnomah County Board of Commissioners’ Statement Opposing Zenith Strength Permit Application
The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners opposes the City of Portland’s acceptance of a Land Use Compatibility Statement (LUCS) for the Zenith oil terminal. We comprehend that this may involve lawful proceedings and we imagine this is a legal battle really worth owning.
The impact of this selection is not limited to one particular unique spot in Multnomah County, but relatively affects the prolonged use of infrastructure that spans across the entirety of the county. Fossil fuel infrastructure poses grave challenges to Multnomah County citizens and the environment. Ongoing reliance on fossil fuels and infrastructure make our local community susceptible to improved threats from catastrophe, incident, and local climate adjust. The Multnomah County Board of County Commissioners formalized our opposition to new and expanded fossil fuel infrastructure in our 2016 and 2018 resolutions.
Zenith’s spot in the Vital Power Infrastructure (CEI) Hub on the Willamette River is seismically unstable and poses an even higher chance in the party of the inevitable Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. In partnership with the City of Portland Bureau of Unexpected emergency Administration, the Multnomah County Office environment of Sustainability commissioned a June 2021 examine of the CEI Hub in Northwest Portland. The review characterizes and quantifies damages that could come about pursuing the Cascadia earthquake or an additional seismic function. The report exposed that when the Cascadia earthquake hits the ageing oil tanks at the CEI Hub, it would cause one particular of the most significant oil spills in history. Ninety per cent of all liquid gas in Oregon is stored at services in the CEI Hub, and the risk this poses to our neighborhood and surroundings can not be underestimated or overlooked.
The hazards from the Zenith terminal are not limited to Northwest Portland, as the facility improves the frequency of oil trains in Multnomah County. Trains carrying crude oil via our communities have the potential to derail, causing catastrophic injury. A 2016 Multnomah County report showed that educational institutions, kid treatment services, and close to one particular quarter of the County’s whole inhabitants are within just a 50 percent-mile risk zone around oil-by-rail transportation routes. Mainly because of historically discriminatory procedures, persons of colour are more likely to reside inside a 50 %-mile of a rail line and are consequently at increased danger from any derailment and/or explosion. We imagine that these inequities must be taken into account when building any coverage conclusions similar to fossil gasoline infrastructure.
The chance from oil trains is an environmental justice issue, as are dangers from climate improve, which influence minimal-profits and Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other communities of shade initial and worst. The repercussions of the local weather disaster in Multnomah County and Oregon, throughout our country and the world are already horrific. They manifest as excessive weather conditions functions — from daily life-threatening heat waves and wildfires to floods and droughts. Multnomah County has extensive sought to lower greenhouse fuel emissions, and what our group is demanding now is a swift changeover away from dependence on fossil fuels.
The harmful impacts of the local weather disaster are simple and have to have us to handle the form of vitality we prioritize, as very well as its infrastructure. Whilst the existence of the gasoline storage dangers in Multnomah County will be catastrophic in the celebration of a significant seismic celebration, if Zenith will increase the frequency and quantity of oil trains in Multnomah County, individuals trains and their operations will pose a repeated threat. We are unable to afford to shift ahead with any additional expenditure in fossil gasoline infrastructure that places our communities and ecosystems at even extra chance. We will have to make policy conclusions that guard our shared upcoming and get rid of environmental harms that way too generally slide disproportionately on vulnerable communities.
In mild of these criteria, we strongly oppose the acceptance of Zenith Energy’s LUCS and urge the City of Portland to deny their software. We figure out that this regulatory determination is a step in a larger sized permitting process, and it is our hope that the Oregon Department of Environmental High-quality will subsequently deny Zenith’s air quality allow. The official assertion: .
Chair Deborah Kafoury
District 1 Commissioner Sharon Meieran
District 2 Commissioner Susheela Jayapal
District 3 Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson
District 4 Commissioner Lori Stegmann