The 9th U.S. Circus Court of Appeals on Tuesday dismissed a case challenging the U.S. Coast Guard’s approval of LNG shipping on the Columbia River, marking the second time in two weeks that Clatsop County preservationists fighting a proposed LNG terminal in Warrenton, Oregon have been shot down.
Columbia Riverkeeper sued the Coast Guard for issuing a letter of recommendation in 2009 that suggested LNG could be transported safely on the river with some adjustments. The group said that the agency did not comply with the National Environmental Policy Act or the Endangered Species Act by not waiting for environmental assessments.
The letter of approval issued by USCG isn’t a final Agency action; it merely indicates that in their view, ships and cargo can safely transit the area without significant disruption of other maritime traffic, though it did recommend safety and security issues be addressed.
It’s gratifying to see the preservationists take a header in this case, as dismissal means that they’ll have to cover their own costs for lawyers and court fees, rather than obliging taxpayers to pick up these costs for them – as too often happens.