July 11, 2022 [BUNKERSPOT] – Portland City Council held a public hearing on Thursday (30 June) on proposed zoning code amendments that would limit the size of new fossil fuel terminals at the Oregon port and also prohibit the expansion of fossil fuel storage tank capacity at existing fossil fuel terminals.
The supporters of the proposed amendments claim they will help to cut the port’s GHG emissions and also reduce the risk of oil spills.
According to a summary posted on the City of Portland’s website: ‘Fossil fuel terminals present public safety risks in cities and communities as well as environmental risks along rivers. These zoning code changes will limit future risk in the event of a catastrophe, such as an earthquake. While the code changes restrict the expansion of existing facilities along the Willamette River in North Portland, they allow these terminals to continue operating and companies to reinvest in safer facilities as Oregon transitions away from fossil fuels to more renewable energy sources. ‘
Commissioner Carmen Rubio, who oversees Portland City Council’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, commented: ‘As we work to make our community safer, the first step is to make sure the situation does not get worse. Continuing to allow new fossil fuel terminals and new fossil fuel storage tanks increases the risk to the surrounding district, the Willamette River and the entire city.’
Portland currently has ten terminals handling petroleum products, and one for LNG.
According to Tom Armstrong, Supervising Planner with the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability: ‘All of these terminals are located in an area that is at high portability and high risk of liquefaction in a major earthquake.’
The Portland City Council is set to discuss the zoning code changes again – and possibly take a final vote – on 21 July.
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