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DEQ fields public questions, comments on coal export project

Ambre intends to barge coal through the Columbia River Gorge.


The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality holds an informational meeting in Portland Thursday, Dec. 6, on the proposed Ambre Energy/Morrow coal export project in the Columbia River Gorge.

DEQ will answer questions and take public comments, starting at 6 p.m., on the proposed Coyote Island Coal Terminal at the Port of Morrow in Boardman.

The event is at the Ambridge Event Center Ballroom, 1333 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., between Clackamas and Wasco streets.

Ambre proposes to bring up to 8.8 million tons of coal each year by train from Montana or Wyoming to the Port of Morrow in Boardman. Ambre would store the coal in covered buildings there, then barge it on the Columbia River to a Port of St. Helens dock at Port Westward near Clatskanie. From there the coal would be loaded onto ocean-going ships.

DEQ has determined that Ambre needs four state-issued environmental permits: an air contaminant discharge permit; a general national pollution discharge elimination system 1200-C permit; an industrial stormwater permit; and an individual water pollution control facilities permit.

Columbia Riverkeeper and other critics opposed to the Ambre project are holding a 5 p.m. rally before the hearing.