Judge Dismisses State Environmental Policy Act Claim
Tesoro-Savage project allowed to move forward in environmental review process
VANCOUVER, Wash. – Clark County Superior Court Judge David E. Gregerson today ruled that the Port of Vancouver USA did not violate the state’s Environmental Policy Act as alleged by several environmental organizations, and entered summary judgment against the plaintiffs’ request for injunctive relief. This ruling allows the Tesoro-Savage project proposed at the port to continue through the process of environmental review.
The judge granted the plaintiffs’ request for limited discovery regarding their claim that the port violated the Open Public Meetings Act on July 22nd.
The case was filed in October 2013 against the Port of Vancouver by Columbia Riverkeeper, the Sierra Club and the Northwest Environmental Defense Center. The plaintiffs allege that the port violated the Open Public Meetings Act in July 2013 during a meeting of port commissioners regarding the lease to Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies for their proposed crude oil terminal. In late October the groups expanded their complaint, saying that the port failed to follow the State Environmental Policy Act during the lease approval process.
“We are pleased with the result of the judge’s ruling,” said Port Executive Director Todd Coleman. “We look forward to continuing our efforts to create a prosperous Clark County in a responsible and sustainable manner. The port will continue to work collaboratively with the environmental community and other stakeholders as the Tesoro-Savage project is reviewed by EFSEC and Governor Inslee.”
“We understand the Court’s desire to allow the plaintiffs time to pursue limited additional evidence,” said the port’s attorney Lawson Fite of the Markowitz, Herbold, Glade & Mehlhaf firm. “We intend to work with the plaintiffs to provide the necessary information in an efficient manner.”
– POV –