VANCOUVER, Wash. – The Port of Vancouver USA settled its lawsuit with Clark County Natural Resources Council and John Karpinski on Wednesday, Aug. 5.
The plaintiffs’ suit contended that a redacted version of the Vancouver Energy lease provided by the port in response to a May 2014 public records request was improper.
As part of the settlement agreement, the port lifted all but three redactions on the Vancouver Energy lease and paid $45,000 to limit further legal costs. The plaintiffs agreed to waive all statutory penalties and will dismiss their claim with prejudice, which means they cannot resurrect this claim against the port in the future.
The port evaluates public records requests as they are submitted and reevaluates each time a new request is made. The port provided a redacted copy in May 2014 to protect information that, if made public, ran a high risk of harming the port’s ability to compete and generate economic benefit for the community.
“It’s now been two years since the Vancouver Energy lease was first approved,” said port CEO Todd Coleman. “The EFSEC process is stretching on, and other circumstances around the lease and earlier redactions have changed. We’re now at a point where we feel releasing this information is important for transparency, and poses little risk to the port’s ability to remain competitive.”
The port has released three versions of the 429-page Vancouver Energy lease as the project matured, each with fewer redactions than the one before. The first version was released with 22 redactions in July 2013. The second version, with 11 redactions, was released in April 2014.
Visit www.portvanusa.com/marine/crude-oil for more information on the Vancouver Energy project, including all available versions of the lease.
You can also view hard copies of the lease at the port’s administrative office, 3103 Northwest Lower River Road, Vancouver.
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The Port of Vancouver USA is one of the major ports on the Pacific Coast, and its competitive strengths include available land, versatile cargo handling capabilities, vast transportation networks, a skilled labor force and an exceptional level of service to its customers and community. For more information, please visit us at www.portvanusa.com.
Abbi Russell, Communications Manager