From our friends at Breach Collective:
On January 11, our allies at Willamette Riverkeeper and Columbia Riverkeeper filed a joint notice of intent to sue Zenith Energy over illegal and ongoing construction at its Portland facility during the pandemic. The suit is a watershed moment in the multi-year fight against this crude oil by rail terminal, which in 2019 began moving Tar Sands and Bakken oil through the Columbia Gorge, Vancouver, WA, and Portland – violating the spirit of Portland’s landmark 2016 ban on new fossil fuel infrastructure.
When Zenith applied for a permit to begin importing a toxic substance called MDI, we successfully pushed the City to defeat that proposal. Since then, Zenith has said it will develop its terminal to handle biofuels. Yet during the pandemic they continued moving crude oil and began construction without any of the necessary permits. They need to be held accountable.
The City of Portland still has leverage over whether Zenith can obtain the stormwater and air permits necessary for its crude oil business and biofuel proposal. The City should use its authority to reject Zenith’s Land Use Compatibility Statement—a requirement of all state permits—until it ceases this illegal construction and commits to transition away from all crude oil business at the facility.
Send a letter to City Commissioners today saying you stand with Willamette and Columbia Riverkeepers’ lawsuit. Urge the City to take strong action to hold Zenith accountable. Here’s the Action Network link: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-portland-city-council-take-strong-action-against-zenith-energy-for-illegal-construction