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Propane terminal gets nod, moves to Portland City Council

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ILWU Local 8 President Mike Stanton was among the many speakers who opposed the proposed terminal, pointing out that it would cause rail congestion and squeeze out existing businesses. Stanton was thanked for his testimony by several community activists who appreciate ILWU support.

The Portland City Council will decide the fate of a $500 million propane export terminal in North Portland, after the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission grudgingly approved a zone change to enable the controversial project last Tuesday night.

Pembina Pipeline Corp., based in Calgary, Canada, hopes to tap propane produced via fracking in Alberta’s natural gas fields, transport it in mile-long trains to the Port of Portland’s Terminal 6, then load it onto ships bound for Asia via the Columbia River.

Nearly 100 people testified on the project Tuesday, the overwhelming majority opposed to the propane terminal. North Portland residents and neighborhood associations are concerned about potential on-site explosions caused by propane leaks, earthquakes and even terrorism.

At the end of a six-hour standing-room-only hearing, the Planning and Sustainability Commission was knotted 5-5, which meant the proposal was rejected.

While the 5-5 vote technically meant the proposal would fail, Baugh pointed out that the Portland City Council would merely ask the commission to revisit the proposal, because city commissioners want the chance to vote on it. Then the panel would have to repeat the hearing process, and if they rejected the project again, the City Council could take up the issue anyway.

More at the Portland Tribune

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