Clean Water or Dirty Coal? Help Oregon decide
August 7, 2014

Why would anyone choose dirty coal over clean water?

But that’s how Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) seems to be leaning in its evaluation of the water quality impacts of a proposed coal export terminal at the Port of Morrow. The agency's decision is due soon:  Tell DEQ to do the right thing, and stop ignoring coal export’s impact on hundreds of miles of the Columbia River.
DEQ Can Stop Coal Export
The Clean Water Act calls for DEQ to conduct a broad review of the water quality impacts of Oregon’s only remaining coal export proposal. Agency officials will either approve or deny a 401 Water Quality Certification permit for Ambre Energy. Without that certification, the company can’t receive federal permits for coal export.  That means that denying certification will stop this project in its dirty tracks.
But DEQ has not conducted a broad review. The agency is looking only at one small part of the coal export project – the coal dock construction at the Port of Morrow. The reality is that this project involves coal trains traveling over and along the Columbia River, thousands of coal barges every year, and a loading facility 219 miles downstream at Port Westward. So many communities stand to be affected by this proposed dirty coal project.
Act Now: Tell DEQ to Protect the Columbia River from Dirty Coal
Submit your comment to DEQ, and tell the agency to protect the entire Columbia River area from the impacts of coal export. Better yet, say it in person! DEQ is holding a public hearing on their proposed narrow scope of water quality impacts, and we need to be there.
WHAT: Public hearing on DEQ’s 401 Water Quality Certification for coal export
WHERE: Port of Morrow, 2 Marine Drive, Boardman, Oregon 97818
WHEN: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 6:00 – 9:00 PM, meet at 5:00 PM in the parking lot for a pre-hearing tailgate with food and drinks!
Hop on the free charter bus from Portland and Hood River!
Portland: Meet up at 12:30 PM at Holladay Park at the intersection of NE 13th and Multnomah (across from the Lloyd Center Mall)
Hood River: Meet up at 2:00 PM at the Valaro Gas Station at exit 63 off I-84
Questions? Contact or 503-929-5950
Thanks for submitting your comment to protect the Columbia River from dirty coal export. Hope to see you at the hearing on the 12th!
Keep up your great work,



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Author Bio

Joëlle engages citizens and diverse constituencies—faith, health, veteran, youth, parents, sportsmen, business—to make their voices heard for climate solutions. She led local field work collaboration with our partners toward passing a federal climate bill, and is currently working to ensure we stop any coal export from the U.S. West Coast.

Joëlle was the Regional Outreach Coordinator of National Wildlife Federation where she focused on mobilizing hunters, anglers and concerned citizens around solutions to global warming. Previous work with Climate Solutions includes the NW Climate Connections partnership, serving as the Field Assistant for the successful Clean Cars campaign, and Field Director of the Renewable Fuel Standard, which passed in April 2006.

She is a board member of Earth Ministry and on the Advisory Board for the Seattle Area Happiness Initiative. She previously served on the Solar Washington board and Sierra Club Executive Committee.

Joëlle is a Northwest native who loves to hike, bike, dance, paraglide, and travel. Her favorite quote is “Hope is borne of participating in hopeful solutions.” — Marianne Williamson.