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City of Portland denies Land Use Compatibility Statement for Zenith Energy

News Article
The City of Portland, through the Bureau of Development Services, is denying a request from Zenith Energy to issue a Land Use Compatibility Statement necessary for the renewal of its air quality permit issued by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

The air quality permit, if renewed, would cover aspects of operations of the entire Zenith Energy site that are not compatible with the City’s comprehensive land use plan.

Included in the reasons for denial of the Land Use Compatibility Statement are the potential impacts of the facility’s operations on the environment and on historically marginalized groups.

“The journey to this decision was essential—building the appropriate foundation of understanding, consensus, and the need to consult with tribal governments in the region,” said Commissioner Dan Ryan, who oversees the Bureau of Development Services. “We know that the activities carried out at this site, and the fossil fuel products being transported, have the potential to directly impact tribal territories, cultural resources, and tribal treaty rights.

“The decision goes well beyond the confines of one Council office or bureau—we all stand united in affirmation of the City of Portland’s commitment to pursuing a clean energy future, addressing climate change, and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.

“It is time to stop kicking our declarations down the road of intention—and start acting with the urgency needed at this critical time in history.”

Today’s decision reaffirms the City’s commitment to pursuing a clean energy future, addressing climate change and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Additional actions to further restrict the operations of fossil fuel terminals within Portland are expected to come to the City Council for its consideration in the coming months.

A separate building permit to install rail infrastructure to handle renewable fuels and non-fossil fuel products is currently under review by the Bureau of Development Services and is expected to be issued in September. The use of this infrastructure will be limited to non-fossil fuel uses as required in a separate Land Use Compatibility Statement, issued in April, for a DEQ stormwater permit specific to this building permit.

A copy of the full Land Use Compatibility Statement form can be found here.


Ken Ray

Public Information Officer, Development Services