Proposed development site for the NEXT Renewable Fuels Oregon project site near Clatskanie, Columbia County, Oregon.
What is NEPA? NEPA requires federal agencies to consider environmental impacts of their actions in decision making. It is important to emphasize that a federal decision cannot be made until after the environmental review process is complete. Federal agencies’ analyses are published in a Draft EIS for public review and comment. Once the public’s comments have been reviewed, federal agencies prepare a Final EIS.
Per NEPA, an EIS assessing impacts of the proposed project on the quality of the human environment will be provided to the public for review and comment. The public will be notified when opportunities for comment arise. The Citizen's Guide to NEPA explains this law and how to effectively submit your input.
Project Details: The Applicant revised the project design after the scoping period and submitted a revised permit application to the Corps on February 27, 2023. The revised Project reduced the rail spur and reduced the area of wetland impact as compared to the project design presented during scoping. The proposed project site is located at the Port Westward Industrial Park near Clatskanie, Columbia County, Oregon. The site is in Section 22, Township 8 North, Range 4 West at Latitude and Longitude: 46.167233°, -123.16195°. The applicant proposes to permanently fill 104.30 acres of wetlands and 0.87 acres of other waterways (ditches, slough) to construct a renewable fuels facility and ancillary components. The project would temporarily fill 31.51 acres of wetlands for project construction and a staging area.
The proposed project facility would be capable of producing 50,000 barrels per day of renewable diesel and other renewable fuel products. The production process would produce renewable fuels from a range of feedstocks such as various vegetable oils, used cooking oil, animal tallow, and inedible corn oil.
The proposed facility and ancillary components constructed in wetlands/waterways would include: main access road; natural gas pipeline; rail spur, ladder tracks, and rail spur access road; four new pipelines to connect with pipelines to an existing wharf; ten large product and feedstock tanks (125,000 to 225,000 barrels each); eleven smaller feedstock and process tanks (10,000 to 50,000 barrels each); pre-treatment plant; hydrogen facility; Ecofining™ units; storm and process water system; office/administration buildings/laboratory; site landscaping and fencing.
The facility would be constructed by grading and filling the site. The overall final grade would be approximately 3 ft. above the existing grade. Fill material would consist of soil and aggregate imported from a local source. Facility components would be supported with pile foundations by installing approximately 15,200, 16-inch steels piles that are 90 ft. long (each) driven by a vibratory hammer. Facility components would also be supported with ground improvement foundations by wet soil mixing known as the Deep Mixing Method to construct concrete piles. Typical construction methods would be utilized for the stripping, grading, road construction, installation of underground utilities, stormwater, and processed water systems.
The project would rely on transportation by water, railroad, and road to receive materials used in production (feedstock oils, tallows, bleaching earth) and to ship renewable fuels produced from the facility. The project would require unloading up to 115 vessels per year (approximately 10 per month) to receive feedstock materials and require loading up to 56 ocean going vessels per year (approximately 5 per month) to transport renewable diesel produced from the facility to market. The project would require loading and unloading up to 208 trains per year (approximately 17 per month) to receive materials used in production (feedstock and bleaching earth) and to transport renewable diesel produced from the facility to market. The project would also require loading up to 720 trucks per year (approximately 60 per month) to transport renewable diesel produced from the facility to market.
The project includes a proposed compensatory mitigation site. The compensatory mitigation would enhance 458.80 acres of wetlands that are currently used for agriculture and silviculture.