Councilors say liquified natural gas terminal and pipelines threaten city's water supply and increase region's reliance on fossil fuels

Saying that proposed natural gas pipelines threaten the the city's water supply and increase the nation's reliance on fossil fuels, the Forest Grove City Council on Monday unanimously went on record opposing a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal on the Columbia River near Astoria.

Pipeline critics say the council is the first local government to go on record opposing the project, which would require 211 miles of pipeline to be laid, much of it between the Coast Range and Highway 47 in western Washington County. A section of the project path would cross the city's watershed and as the pipes that carry drinking water for Forest Grove and several other Washington County cities.

The council action came just hours after the four Democratic members of Oregon's congressional delegation sent a letter to Joseph Kelliher, the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, expressing their concern about the licensing process used by the federal agency.

See a related LNG story in the Sustainable Life section

Forest Grove's resolution, crafted by Councilor Pete Truax, is just 12 paragraphs long, but captures most of the criticisms of the project, noting a litany of concerns over the environment, public safety, private property rights and a dependence on fossil fuels.

'I worked for 20 years on clean air and clean water,' said Councilor Victoria Lowe, 'and this [project] fails both miserably.'

Lowe and others on the council noted that the proposed pipeline path runs through hillside property that has been identified as susceptible to landslides.

'To mix high-pressure gas-line anywhere near that is absolutely ludicrous,' she said. 'I will be voting for this and working to block it.'

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