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Statement on the latest activities with the Zenith Energy Oil Terminal

News Article
The Bureau of Development Services approved a certificate of occupancy for three railcar access platforms and a Land Use Compatibility Statement for non-fossil fuel infrastructure for Zenith Energy. Learn more about the City of Portland’s commitment to renewable energy and what comes next.
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Today the Bureau of Development Services approved a final certificate of occupancy for three railcar access platforms at the Zenith Energy Oil Terminal in Northwest Portland. This project represents a significant safety upgrade to the site that includes new fire suppression systems designed and installed to local and national standards, a spill control and containment system in the offloading area, and other safety improvements. This project does not expand the capacity of existing storage tanks.

This completes work on a permit that was applied for in 2014, before the City Council’s adoption in 2016 and 2019 of ordinances prohibiting the further creation or expansion of storage tank capacity at fossil fuel terminals in Portland. The Bureau was required to consider what was allowed in city code at the time of the permit’s application and whether the proposed work meets the requirements of state building codes. Based on inspections of the platforms by the Bureau of Development Services and other city permitting bureaus, the platforms comply with building codes and a certificate of occupancy was approved.

On a separate matter, Zenith Energy applied to the Bureau of Development Services last August for a Land Use Compatibility Statement for “non-fossil fuel infrastructure to support bulk distribution of renewable fuels (such as renewable diesel derived from soybean feedstock) and non-fuel products (such as asphalt).” The Land Use Compatibility Statement evaluates whether a proposed activity is compatible with the Comprehensive Plan and local zoning requirements and is required to inform a decision by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality on whether to approve a stormwater management permit at the site.

Today the Bureau approved the Land Use Compatibility Statement for the non-fossil fuel infrastructure. In addition to acknowledging the compatibility of this work with the Comprehensive Plan and city zoning code, the document requires Zenith Energy exclusively use the new infrastructure for renewable fuels and non-fuel products.  Zenith Energy is expressly prohibited from using the new infrastructure for fossil fuels. These commitments by Zenith Energy support the City’s dedication to a clean energy future.

The certificate of occupancy, the permit applications associated with the rail car access platform, and the Land Use Compatibility Statement are available to download here.

The City of Portland is committed to achieving the goals of our Climate Action Plan and leading the nation in the reduction of carbon and use of fossil fuels. We will continue to promote the use and development of renewable and alternative fuels in Portland. We are committed to strengthening our critical energy infrastructure hub to serve the future energy needs of our community. Our work toward these goals is enhanced by the commitments made through today’s action.

Contact

Ken Ray

Public Information Officer (for news media inquiries)