Permit Application Public Notices

The United States Congress authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to regulate activities that may impact wetlands and waters of the United States. This authority is granted and defined under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and Section 404 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, also known as the Clean Water Act.

Public involvement is a key element of the Corps’ permit review process. During an application review, the Corps considers the views of other federal, state and local agencies, Native American tribes, interest groups, and the general public. The results of this careful public interest review are fair and equitable decisions that allow reasonable use of private property, infrastructure development, and growth of the economy, while offsetting the authorized impacts to the waters of the United States.

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Portland District
Published Nov. 5, 2021
Expiration date: 12/4/2021

Application for Permit

Issue Date: November 5, 2021
Expiration Date: December 4, 2021
                               U.S. Army Corps of Engineers No: NWP-2020-383

30-Day Notice

Interested parties are hereby notified the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (Corps) has received an application for a Department of the Army permit for certain work in waters of the United States, as described below and shown on the attached drawings. The Corps is soliciting comments on the proposed work.

Applicant:    NEXT Renewable Fuels Oregon, LLC
                        Attention: Christopher Efird
                       11767 Katy Freeway, Suite 705
                       Houston, TX  77079
                       Telephone: (281) 884-3680

Applicant’s Agent:     Stewardship Solutions, Inc.
                                        Attention: Laurie Parry
                                        2270 10th Street, Suite C
                                        Baker City, OR  97814
                                        Telephone: (541) 519-4891

Location: The 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°.

Waterway: The project is proposed in Wetland 1, Mitigation Site Wetland 1, Wetland 2, Waterway A, Waterway B, Waterway C, Waterway D, Waterway E, Waterway F, Waterway G, and McLean Slough. The wetland boundaries and/or location of the ordinary high water mark shown on the project drawings have not yet been verified by the Corps. If the Corps determines the boundaries of the wetland/waters are substantially inaccurate a new public notice may be published.

Project Purpose: The applicant’s stated purpose is to construct and operate a renewable fuels facility to provide renewable fuels to West Coast markets that are mandated under the renewable fuel’s standards and state low-carbon mandates.

Project Description: The project name is NEXT Renewable Fuels Oregon. The project would permanently fill 117.64 acres of wetlands and 1.79 acres of other waterways (ditches, slough) to construct a renewable fuels facility and ancillary components. The project would temporarily fill 32.03 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 steel 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. The process employs a drill that advances a mixing tool as binder slurry is pumped through the connecting drill steel, mixing the soil to the target depth. Additional mixing of the soil is completed as the tool is withdrawn to the surface. This process would construct individual soilcrete columns, rows of overlapping columns or 100% mass stabilization, to provide designed strength and stiffness (see drawings, page 13). 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 diesel produced from the facility. The project would require unloading up to 118 barges per year (approximately 10 per month) to receive feedstock materials and require loading up to 58 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.

Mitigation: The applicant proposes to avoid and minimize impacts to wetlands and waterways during construction by defining construction limits, implementing erosion and sediment control measures and stabilizing temporarily impacted areas. 
Wetlands temporarily filled would be restored. The applicant has proposed compensatory wetland mitigation to offset permanent losses of waters of the U.S. (wetlands and waterways) that may result from the proposed project. The proposed permittee-responsible compensatory wetland mitigation site is located 0.25 miles south of the proposed project site. The compensatory mitigation would enhance 476.90 acres of wetlands that are currently used for agriculture and silviculture. Constructing the compensatory mitigation would result in the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the U.S. The Corps will determine the type and amount of compensatory mitigation necessary to offset environmental losses from the proposed project.

Drawings: Sixteen (16) drawings are attached and labeled Corps No. NWP-2020-383. Copies of this public notice, which have been mailed or otherwise physically distributed, feature project drawings in black and white. The electronic version features those drawings in color, which we think more accurately illustrates the proposed project. To access the electronic version of this public notice, go to the Portland District Regulatory website at and select Permit Application Public Notices from the list of Regulatory pages.

Authority: The proposed project will be evaluated under the following:
Section 404, Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344), for discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States.

Clean Water Act Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines: The described discharge will be evaluated for compliance with guidelines promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under authority of Section 404(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act. The 404(b)(1) Guidelines are the substantive criteria used in evaluating discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States. The source of the fill material would be the redeposit of onsite soils and soil and aggregate imported from a local source. 

Water Quality Certification: Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1341) requires applicants to obtain a water quality certification for proposed discharges into waters of the United States. A permit for the described work will not be issued until certification has been issued or is waived from the certifying state. Attached is the state's notice for a water quality certification.

Endangered Species: Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) (16 U.S.C. 1536) requires federal agencies to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and/or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on all actions that may affect a species listed (or proposed for listing) under the ESA as threatened or endangered or that may adversely modify designated critical habitat. The Corps’ preliminary review indicates the described activity may affect an endangered or threatened species or designated critical habitat. The Corps will initiate consultation under Section 7 of the ESA. The Corps will complete the required consultation prior to finalizing a permit decision.

Essential Fish Habitat: Section 305(b)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) as amended (16 U.S.C. 1855), requires Federal agencies to consult with the NMFS on all actions, or proposed actions, permitted, funded, or undertaken by the agency, that may adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). The Corps’ preliminary review indicates the described activity would adversely affect EFH at the project location or in the vicinity. The Corps will initiate consultation under Section 305(b)(2) of the MSA. The Corps will complete the required consultation prior to finalizing a permit decision.

Historic Properties/Cultural Resources: Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended (54 U.S.C. 306108), requires Federal agencies to consult with the appropriate State and/or Tribal Historic Preservation Officer to take into account the effects of actions they undertake or permit on historic properties listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The Corps’ preliminary review indicates the permit area is likely to yield resources eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. An investigation for the presence of potentially eligible historic properties is justified and would be required prior to the Corps’ final permit decision.

This notice has been provided to the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, interested Native American Tribes, and other interested parties. If you have information pertaining to cultural resources within the permit area, please provide this information to the Corps’ project manager identified at the end of this notice to assist in a complete evaluation of potential effects.

State and Local Authorizations: Required approvals or authorizations include: Columbia County – Land Use Permit, Conditional Use Permit and Building Permit; Oregon Department of Energy – Energy Facility Siting Council Exemption; Oregon Department of Environmental Quality – Air Containment Discharge Permit, 401 Water Quality Certification, 1200-Z Industrial Stormwater Permit, and 1200-C Stormwater Construction Permit; Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) – Removal-Fill Permit (DLS No. 63077).

Public Hearing: Any person may request in writing within the comment period specified in this notice that a public hearing be held to consider this application. Requests for public hearings shall state with particularity the reasons for holding a public hearing.

Evaluation: The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact, including cumulative impacts, of the described activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefit, which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the described activity, must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors, which may be relevant to the proposal will be considered including the cumulative effects thereof; among those are conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historic properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, consideration of property ownership and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people.

The Corps is soliciting comments from the public; Federal, state, and local agencies and officials; Native American Tribes; and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of the proposed activity. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps to determine whether to issue, modify, condition or deny a permit for this proposal. To make this decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.

Submitting Comments: Interested parties are invited to provide comments on the proposed project. Comments may be submitted by conventional mail or email. All comments received will be considered in determining whether authorizing the work would be contrary to the public interest. 

Either conventional mail or e-mail comments must include the Corps reference number as shown on page 1 and include the commenter’s name and address. In order to be accepted, e-mail comments must originate from the author’s e-mail account and must include on the subject line of the e-mail message the Corps reference number. All comments received will become part of the administrative record and are subject to public release under the Freedom of Information Act including any personally identifiable information such as names, phone numbers, and addresses.

Additional information about the proposed project may be obtained from the Corps Project Manager listed below. All comments, whether by conventional mail or email, must be received no later than the expiration date of this public notice to ensure consideration. Comments should be submitted to the following mailing address or email address:

        U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
        Regulatory Branch
        Mr. Joe Brock
        P.O. Box 2946
        Portland, Oregon  97208-2946
        Telephone: (503) 808-4377 

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)
Water Quality 401 Certification

    Notice Issued: November 5, 2021
    Written Comments Due: December 4, 2021

Corps of Engineers No: NWP-2020-383
Oregon Department of State Lands No: 63077-RF    

WHO IS THE APPLICANT: NEXT Renewable Fuels Oregon, LLC

LOCATION OF CERTIFICATION ACTIVITY: See attached U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public notice.

WHAT IS PROPOSED: See attached U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public notice on the proposed project.

NEED FOR CERTIFICATION: Section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act requires applicants for Federal permits or licenses to provide the Federal agency a water quality certification from the State of Oregon if the proposed activity may result in a discharge to waters of the state.

DESCRIPTION OF DISCHARGES: See attached U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public notice on the proposed project.

WHERE TO FIND DOCUMENTS: Documents and materials related to water quality issues as a result of the proposal are available for examination and copying at Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, 401 Water Quality Permit Coordinator, Northwest Region, 700 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 600, Portland, Oregon 97232. Other project materials are available by contacting the Corps per the attached public notice.

Scheduling an appointment will ensure that water quality documents are readily accessible during your visit. To schedule an appointment please call DEQ Water Quality at Northwest Region at (503) 229-5623.

Any questions on the water quality certification process may be addressed to the 401 Permit Coordinator at (503) 229-5623 or toll free within Oregon at (800) 452-4011. People with hearing impairments may call the Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service at (800) 735-2900.


Public Hearing: Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 340-48-0032 (2) states that “The Corps provides public notice of and opportunity to comment on the applications, including the application for certification, provided that the department (DEQ), in its discretion, may provide additional opportunity for public comment, including public hearing.” Additional Section 401 process information is available on DEQ’s webpage (

Written comments: Written comments on project elements related to water quality must be received at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality by 5 p.m. on the date specified in the upper right section on page one of this notice. Written comments may be submitted electronically through Your DEQ Online ( For questions regarding account registration, system navigation, or training resources, please visit the Your DEQ Online help webpage (

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: DEQ will review and consider all comments received during the public comment period. Following this review, certification of the proposal may be issued as proposed, issued with conditions, or denied. You will be notified of DEQ's final decision if you submit comments during the comment period. Otherwise, if you wish to receive notification, please call or write DEQ at the above address. Public records can be accessed through the Your DEQ Online public records portal webpage 

ACCESSIBILITY INFORMATION: DEQ can provide documents in an alternate format or in a language other than English upon request. Call DEQ at (800) 452-4011 or email