It should be everyone's shared mission to protect the quality of life and the environment of Troutdale and the Columbia River Gorge. Because of that, we're grateful to learn that environmental activists have contested the siting of a natural-gas fueled power plant at the former Reynolds aluminum factory site in Troutdale.

We, along with the activists, want assurances that the plant would be constructed with the best protections possible, guaranteeing that people and the environment won't pay the price for this company's ability to generate and sell electricity.

Given that, we hope the developers openly share their plans for the design elements that would go into this project. We hope they would describe those measures in simple terms, so that members of the public are able to judge for themselves whether this project is a good fit as a neighbor to the Columbia Gorge Scenic Area and the residents of East Multnomah County.

We also hope activists don't let their bias stand in the way of this project simply out of stubborn principle. If the developers are able to show this project as environmentally neutral, then this project should be welcomed as a much-needed boost to the economy of East County.

But the first step must come from Development Partners Group, the company that has applied for a site permit through the Oregon Department of Energy. Without transparency regarding the environmental protections that would be built into this project, the community would have no choice but to approach this project with skepticism.

Contract Publishing

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