Citizens Protest on Coos Bay Boardwalk
We are concerned citizens of the South Coast of Oregon who oppose the proposed Jordan Cove LNG (liquefied natural gas) Terminal in our Coos Bay area and the 231.82 mile, 36 inch interstate Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline to interconnects near Malin, Oregon.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. –Albert Einstein
Total Insanity: building an LNG import-export terminal on dredging spoils located on a sand spit (an unstable sand dune area) directly across the bay from an airport runway, in the flight path of the runway, in an extreme tsunami inundation zone, in an earthquake subduction zone, in an area known for high winds and ship disasters, less than a mile from a highly populated city……….
An Overview of the History of the Jordan Cove Energy Project
For a more in-depth history see this Blog Post:
On November 22, 2004, a newly formed Colorado based company, Energy Products Development LLC, doing business in Oregon as the “Jordan Cove Energy Project,” submitted a Notice of Intent (NOI) to the Oregon Department of Energy to build a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Import facility on the North Spit of Coos Bay directly across the Bay from the North Bend Airport.
In July 2005, Fort Chicago Energy Partners LP, of Canada, acquired a majority stake in the Jordan Cove Project.
On February 8, 2006, several big names in Northwest energy, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Williams’ Northwest Pipeline and Fort Chicago Energy Partners L.P. issued a press release announcing plans to complete a 234-mile-long, 36 inch, high pressure (1440 psi) non-odorized interstate natural gas pipeline from the proposed liquefied natural gas terminal in Coos Bay to Malin, a small town about 30 miles southeast of Klamath Falls, by 2010. The pipeline project would be known as the ‘Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline’.
An April 1, 2010, presentation made by Bob Braddock of the Jordan Cove Energy Project to the 2010 NWPPA Engineering & Operations Conference announced the South Dunes Power Plant and stated the following:
Initial capacity - 1 bcf/d
Estimated cost – $1.2 – $1.3 B
Fort Chicago Ownership – 90% +
Project in-service – 2014 – 2015
Length – 234 miles
Initial capacity – 1bcf/d
Estimated cost – $1.2 – $1.3 B
Fort Chicago ownership – 33.3%
Project in-service – 2014 -2015
On January 4, 2011, Fort Chicago, a limited Canadian partnership, announced it had reorganized as a Canadian corporation named Veresen Inc., effective January 1, 2011
On February 29, 2012, Jordan Cove filed a request with FERC to Initiate a National Environmental Policy Act Pre-Filing Review of the Jordan Cove Energy Project LNG Export Terminal Proposal under FERC Docket PF12-7:
On April 16, 2012, FERC vacated its order approving the Jordan Cove LNG “Import” facility and its certificate authorizing the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline.
On May, 21, 2013, the Jordan Cove Energy Project, L.P. filed their formal Application (CP13-483-000) with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to begin the NEPA review process and the preparing of an Envirnmental Impact Statement (EIS) by FERC.
On June 6, 2013, the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline, L.P. filed their formal Application (CP13-492-000) with the Federal energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Due to the fact the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline is a necessary part of the Jordan Cove LNG Export Terminal, the Commission will prepare a “single” Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) addressing both projects.
The Jordan Cove LNG Facility
Jordan Cove Energy Project L.L.C. is a Delaware limited liability company that is owned by the two limited partners. The first, Fort Chicago LNG II U.S.L.P., a Delaware limited partnership, owns seventy-five percent. Fort Chicago LNG II U.S.L.P. is wholly owned and controlled, through a number of intermediate wholly owned and controlled companies, by Veresen, Inc., a Canadian corporation based in Calgary, Alberta, which, prior to its organization as a corporation, was Fort Chicago Energy Partners L.P., a Canadian limited partnership (although the name of the parent changed, the name of the subsidiary owning Jordan Cove did not). The second, Energy Projects Development L.L.C., a Colorado limited liability company, owns twenty-five percent.
Currently the Jordan Cove Energy Project is proposing to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal on the north side of the Coos Bay Estuary. Jordan Cove’s previous proposed import terminal involved two 42 million gallon LNG storage tanks each 265 ft in diameter with a roof peak overall height elevation of 233 ft. The LNG storage tanks were proposed to sit on dredging spoils that were once wetland areas on the North Spit of Coos Bay (an unstable stand dune). The Jordan Cove facility including marine slip would sit on the north bend of the Coos river channel in a extreme tsunami inundation zone; in the Cascadia subduction zone; directly across from the end of an active airport runway; in the flight path of the runway; in an area known for high winds and ship disasters that is less than a mile from the City of North Bend.
What is LNG?
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is natural gas that has been supercooled down to -259 degrees Fahrenheit. At that temperature natural gas condenses into a liquid. In liquid form, natural gas takes up to 600 times less space than its gaseous state making it feasible for transportation and storage.
Just how Dangerous is LNG?
LNG can become highly unstable and exhibit intense pressure if it is not kept at -259 degrees Fahrenheit. LNG can rapidly vaporize, expand and ignite to burn people and property thousands of yards from the core of the fire. No precaution or risk assessment can guarantee safety in case of an accident, earthquake, tsunami or terrorism.
“A (LNG) Pool fire is intense, burning far more hotly and rapidly than oil or gasoline fires, It cannot be extinguished…..its thermal radiation may injure people and damage property a considerable distance from the fire itself”
CRS Report for Congress, Jan 28, 2004
“Once ignited, as is very likely when the spill is initiated by a chemical explosion, the floating LNG pool will burn vigorously…Like the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, there exists no relevant industrial experience with fires of this scale from which to project measures for securing public safety.”
James A. Fay, Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“If about 3 million gallons of LNG spills onto the water from an LNG tanker ship, flammable vapors from the spill could travel up to 3 miles.”
Dr. Jerry A. Havens, Distinguished Professor, Maurice E Barker Chair in Chemical Process Safety and the Environmental Fate of Chemicals, University of Arkansas
LNG tanker ships will leave our harbor carrying around 39 million gallons of LNG…Roughly 3 billion cubic feet of gas.
Proposed Jordan Cove LNG Export Site – Coos Bay, Oregon
According to the FERC Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) page 4.8-2, 16,922 people live in these hazard zones along the waterway.
“…For a nominal intentional (LNG) spill the hazard range could extend to 2500 m (1.553 miles). The actual hazard distances will depend on breach and spill size, site specific conditions, and environmental conditions.”
Sandia National Laboratories Report for the U.S. Government – December 2004
“We have a one to three mile range here that are credible hazard distances based on a tanker spill of ½ of one tank or 3 to 4 million gallons of LNG. There are no real disagreements about this. If more is spilled it could be worse, obviously.”
Portland, OR – August 2005 – Professor Jerry Havens – LNG Expert/ Chemical Engineer/ Director – Chemical Hazard Research Center at the University of Arkansas
Jordan Cove LNG Marine Slip
The LNG marine slip dock and access channel would be about 2,000 feet wide at the navigation channel and about 800 feet wide at the mouth of the proposed slip, and about 800 feet long at its northern edge and about 1,400 feet long at its southern edge. (FEIS page 2-17) It would involve the removal of a 100-foot high forested sand dune and some 5.6 million cubic yards of dredged material according to the Ports dredging application. An estimated 1.3 million cubic yards (mcy) would be dredged out of Coos Bay (FEIS page 2-17) and 4.25 million cubic yards (mcy) of material removed from current uplands above the mean high water line (FEIS page 1-4). The 100-foot high forested dune that is slated to be removed is currently one of the few tsunami safety zone areas on the North Spit. A portion of the LNG facility would sit in the 100-year flood zone.
The LNG slip is being designed to hold up to 217,000 cubic meter ships even though the Coast Guard Water Suitability Report stated LNG ships transiting the Coos Bay are to be no larger than 148,000 cubic meters (FEIS Page 2-7). Minimum water depth within the slip would be –45 feet with 3 feet overdredge allowance (FEIS Page 2-17). Jordan Cove’s Ship Simulation Study modeled its LNG carrier dimensions at 950 feet long, 150 feet at the beam, with a loaded draft of 40 feet deep, and a capacity of 148,000 m3 (FEIS Page 2-8). Ships will transit in the Coos Bay channel that is dredged only 300 feet in width and 37 feet in depth.
Construction of the two berth slip, off loading facilities, tanks, and power plant may destroy cultural resources. The linear north-south hill along the east boundary of the proposed facility most likely would have been used by Native Americans for burial sites.
South Dunes Power Plant
The Jordan Cove South Dunes Power Plant “Project” is an integrated 420 MW natural gas power generation plant and gas liquefaction facility necessary for the Jordan Cove Energy Project to be able to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) overseas.
Get the latest SDPP Update here:
The Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline
Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Route (FEIS 1-6, Figure 1-1)
The proposed Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline (PCGP) project is a joint development project of subsidiaries of Williams and Veresen U.S. Power Inc. The project is an approximately 231.82 mile, 36-inch high-pressure non-odorized interstate pipeline that will operate at 1,480 PSI (pounds per square inch). The PCGP and the Jordan Cove Terminal will provide transportation and liquefaction and export service for 1,060,000 Dth per day of natural gas supplies. The design assumes 40,000 Dth per day will be reserved at the Clarks Branch Deliver Meter Station and 1,020,000 Dth per day will be reserved at the Jordan Cove Delivery Meter Station at the terminus of the PCGP system. The
Hazard zone for a pipeline of this size and pressure is approximately a 900 ft circumference from the center of the pipe (1,800 feet across). This will impact many landowners who may not even be aware they are living or have property in a pipeline hazard zone.
The PCGP Project will negatively impact 400 waterbodies, 101 are perennial, 164 are intermittent, 128 areditches, 6 are stock ponds, and 1 is an estuary (Haynes Inlet in the Coos Bay Estuary) [Per PCGP 2013 Resource Report 1, page 60]. Available data indicates that many of these waterbodies are known to be inhabited by fish. The proposed pipeline would cross about 2.4 miles of Coos Bay, the largest estuary completely within Oregon.
The freshwater streams crossed by the entire proposed PCGP pipeline route include 6 major subbasins of rivers in southern Oregon – the Coos, Coquille, South Umpqua, Upper Rogue, Upper Klamath and Lost River subbasins. Most of the major streams, and many of the minor streams crossed in these subbasins contain salmon and steelhead, some of which are federally listed as threatened fish species.
The Pacific Connector proposes to utilize a standard 95-foot wide construction right-of-way with a 50-foot permanent easement. Additional temporary work areas will be required on side hills, at stream, railroad and highway crossings and in other areas where it may be necessary to address site specific issues. Development and use of access roads, offload sites, staging areas, pipe storage yards and contractor yards will result in additional disturbance. The final location, size and purpose of these additional temporary work areas will be provided once the construction footprint has been refined during the pre-filing process.
Construction of the Pacific Connector pipeline would affect about 3,035 acres of forest and woodland, 623 acres of agricultural lands, 488 acres of grasslands-shrubland, and 131 acres of non- riparian vegetation. (FEIS page 5-9). Approximately 151 miles, or 66 percent, of the proposed pipeline route would cross private property, which could be taken by eminent domain. The remaining 79 miles (34 percent) of pipeline route would cross public lands administered by the BLM (18 percent), USFS (12 percent), BOR (0.14 percent), (FEIS page 4.8-25)
Northern Spotted Owl
Spotted Owl in Shady Cove, OR – Photo by Bryan Olsen
The pipeline heavily impacts northern spotted owl habitat in the heart of their range in Oregon.
* The pipeline clear-cuts within 80 known owl site home ranges. (4.6-49).
* Over 420 acres of NSO habitat is directly clear-cut, with thousands more acres degraded in Uncleared Storage Areas and fragmented interior habitat.
This project harms marbled murrelet habitat, mostly by logging large trees within their critical habitat (CHU OR-06-d), logging occupied habitat, as well as fragmenting forests, which threatens murrelet nests with predation.
The pipeline clear-cuts 84 acres of suitable habitat, including occupied stands. Fragmentation is a serious issue for murrelets because nest predation by corvids takes most murrelet eggs.
Oyster and Timber Production
In Coos County the Pacific Connector is slated to directly negatively impact native Olympia oysters in Haynes Inlet and also Clausen Oyster Company’s highly productive silver point Pacific oyster beds. Coos Bay is the largest commercial producer of shellfish in the state of Oregon. Pacific oysters are commercially raised in the mudflats of South Slough and Haynes Inlet and the upper bay east of McCullough Bridge. Clamming also occurs at Haynes Inlet. (FEIS page 4.7-17)
Clausen’s oysters, Coos County Sheep Farm, Private Timberlands and Recreational and Commercial Fishing Industries are just a few businesses in the Coos Bay area alone that will be negatively impacted directly by this pipeline. There will be significant pipeline impacts with respect to fish, marine life, wildlife, habitat and landowners over the course of the entire route. Hundreds of landowners will be impacted. In addition, impacts to Coos Bay Wagon Road Grant Lands and O&C Timber lands will permanently take timber out of production, which will impact the funding that BLM provides to the County from their management of these lands.
NOTE: The data and information provided above is partially based on information obtained from the FERC Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) of the proposed Jordan Cove LNG Import Terminal and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline. We will update the information on this page as newer information and details about the Jordan Cove LNG Export project becomes available.