Nick Fish to examine Pembina’s legal right to a hearing

‘I think at a certain point the integrity of the building is at stake,’ the commissioner said after Charlie Hales abruptly pulled his support two weeks ago.

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Portland Mayor Charlie Hales abruptly pulled his support from a proposed propane terminal along the Columbia River two weeks ago.

Commissioner Nick Fish wants to ensure Pembina Pipeline Corp is allowed a hearing on a zoning change that would allow it to operate. writes:

“I think at some point the integrity of the building is at stake,” he said.

Hales was the project’s most prominent champion until two weeks ago, when he abruptly decided that community opposition to the project was too strong. He also concluded that Pembina had not established that the project met the city’s environmental standards. Hales didn’t cite specific standards, but he pulled the zoning change from the council’s June 10 agenda and said he wouldn’t put it back on.

Hales’ move puts Pembina in a tenuous position.

The Portland Business Journal noted that the city’s administrative structure means Pembina faces long odds at getting the project back on track.

Elected council members oversee the city’s various bureaus and by tradition are responsible for moving action along to the council. Portland Mayor Charlie Hales is responsible for the planning and sustainability commission. And he opposes the Pembina export terminal. He also vowed that he won’t introduce it to the council.

His spokesman, Dana Haynes, said it’s “highly unlikely, but not impossible” that the zone change would go before the council. Hales has said he won’t advance it. Another city council member could, though Haynes said that would be unusual. Port officials have vowed to support Pembina’s application. As Ted Sickinger reported in The Oregonian this morning, the port has attempted to eliminate the $6.2 million climate change fee levied by the planning and sustainability commission.


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