Thursday, January 8, 2015

Quinault EFSEC petition dismissed

Quinault petition on oil project jurisdiction is dismissed 

By Corey Morris      The Daily World       01/08/15

The City of Hoquiam and state Department of Ecology will maintain purview over environmental review of two proposed oil terminals on Grays Harbor after a state agency on Wednesday dismissed a Quinault Indian Nation petition for a change of jurisdiction.

Earthjustice, an environmental law firm representing the Quinault Indian Nation, had petitioned the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council to take jurisdiction over the Westway Terminals and Imperium Renewables expansion projects that include crude-by-rail operations and plans to store crude oil at the Port of Grays Harbor. Wednesday’s decision put the brakes on the petition.

“We’re not going to express an opinion and we’re going to allow parties to take it up in Superior Court,” EFSEC Chairman Bill Lynch said.

According to state law, the petition could not carry forward if interested parties objected. Both Imperium and Westway stated their objections.

“Clearly the Imperium and Westway facilities are interested parties and their interests would be impacted if we moved forward with a declaration,” Lynch said.

EFSEC could have overruled the objections but there is little precedent for that, and the council chose instead to dismiss the petition altogether.

Earthjustice attorney Kristen Boyles said the tribe is “disappointed with the decision.”

 “Because the oil companies objected, EFSEC couldn’t even hear the merits of the petition,” Boyles said. “It does bring up the question as to what are the oil companies trying to hide?” 

The tribe will discuss how it will move forward, considering the EFSEC-suggested step of moving the matter to Superior Court, however no decisions had been made by late Wednesday afternoon, Boyles said…..     more here

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