“Global’s air pollution permit gives the green light for the facility to ship up to 1,839,600,000 gallons of crude oil each year. This is a staggering amount of oil,” said Mark Riskedahl, Executive Director of the Northwest Environmental Defense Center. “In addition to the significant risks of oil spills and impacts from rail traffic and associated pollution, Global’s proposal has significant implications for local and regional air quality.”
DEQ’s air pollution permit allows Global Partners to legally operate its oil-by-rail and handle 1.8 billion gallons of crude oil annually from the former ethanol facility operating as the Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery. Global Partners’ operations could bring up to 50 oil trains per month through the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Portland, and Columbia County towns.
“People eat fish caught near Global’s oil terminal. We’re talking about some of the highest quality salmon habitat in the entire Columbia River Basin butting up against the shores of this massive oil-by-rail terminal. To say that an oil spill would be devastating is an understatement,” said Brett VandenHeuvel, Executive Director for Columbia Riverkeeper.
“We’re asking DEQ to protect people who live, work, and fish near Global’s oil-by-rail complex.” “On paper Global has drawn colored lines around parts of its facility and asked for an air permit for only certain parts of its operations,” said attorney Tanya Sanerib from the Center for Biological Diversity. “But in reality, Global needs a permit for its entire operations – not just its artwork.”
Global Partners LP has a history of flaunting environmental and safety regulation. In March, Oregon DEQ fined the company for illegally shipping 250 million gallons of crude in 2013 without the required air pollution permit. Global Partners is currently contesting the $117,292 fine that DEQ issued for what it called a violation of the “highest level.”