Oil terminal review process extended

first_imgThe state panel reviewing a proposal for an oil-by-rail transfer terminal in Vancouver agreed Tuesday to extend to early next year the timeline for completing a review of the proposal and for making a recommendation to Gov. Jay Inslee.The decision by the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, which was expected, adds six months to a review process that includes an environmental impact examination, judicial hearings and a recommendation to Inslee. That moves the deadline for a recommendation to March 2, 2015.But if the evaluation council’s discussion of the matter Tuesday is any indication, even the new deadline may not be realistic. By law, the evaluation council must reach a recommendation within 12 months of receiving an application for a large energy project proposal. But the law also allows deadline extensions, which are not unusual given the size and complexity of proposals. The Tesoro-Savage application, filed on Aug. 29, 2013, is nearing its one-year anniversary.In an Aug. 6 letter to the evaluation council, Kelly Flint, senior vice president and general counsel for Savage, requested the six-month extension. “While we understand that a precise schedule to complete (evaluation council) review is difficult to predict,” he wrote, “we are suggesting this 6-month extension as reasonable and appropriate, given the current status of project review.”During its regular public meeting in Olympia that was accessible by telephone, the evaluation council voted unanimously to approve the extra six months.At one point during the discussion of the extension, Bill Lynch, chairman of the evaluation council, addressed Jay Derr, an attorney for Tesoro and Savage. “This is the only time this is going to happen, Mr. Derr,” Lynch said.last_img read more