The shorelines permit for the Contanda crude oil project in Hoquiam has been placed on hold.
At the Monday City Council meeting, Hoquiam City Attorney Steve Johnson stated that the permit, which was under review, will be halted until Contanda LLC. can provide information that they have met the requirements of the Ocean Resources Management Act (ORMA).
Earlier in January, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that despite not being required previously, ORMA will now be needed before pursuing any other permits to show that the project will adequately protect coastal resources.
ORMA states specifically that “All reasonable steps are taken to avoid and minimize adverse environmental impacts, with special protection provided for the marine life and resources of the Columbia river, Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor estuaries, and Olympic national park”.
The decision by the high court overturns the previous lower court decision that ORMA did not apply, and looks to require the additional oversight before any approval could be given.
Johnson said that while these additional requirements have stopped the shorelines permit process currently, it is possible that Contanda could continue with the local project if they satisfy ORMA.
Contanda is the final of 3 proposed crude oil terminals for Grays Harbor that is currently continuing efforts.
The proposed oil terminal has been estimated to receive 403.2 million gallons of oil per year.