Photo from the Washington Environmental Council

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 

December 17, 2021

CONTACTS: 

Jan Hasselman, Senior Attorney, Earthjustice, 206-629-8752, jhasselman@earthjustice.org
Zachary DeWolf, Communications Director, Washington Environmental Council, 206-771-4207, zachary@wecprotects.org

Puyallup Tribe and Community Organizations Challenge Decision Allowing Dangerous Tacoma LNG Facility to Operate

Permits based on flawed and dangerous analysis put community at risk

TACOMA, WA (December, 17, 2021) — Today, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians and several community organizations filed an appeal with Pierce County Superior Court challenging a November decision by the Washington Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB). Despite misleading and inaccurate information used to evaluate the project, PCHB determined the Puget Sound Energy’s (PSE) air permits, issued by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) and given to the Tacoma Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) facility, were adequate. 

“As we said last month, we are profoundly disappointed the board upheld the remainder of the permit and we expect the decision will embolden companies that start projects that feed climate change and put vulnerable communities at risk,” the Puyallup Tribal Council said in a statement. “We were put here to protect these lands and waters and that is what we will continue to do. We will continue the fight. Too much is at stake.”

“Washington’s voters have committed to a clean energy future, one that has no room for new fossil fuel infrastructure like the Tacoma LNG terminal, said Jan Hasselman, Northwest attorney for Earthjustice, which filed a separate appeal today. “We will continue to make our case both in court, and the court of public opinion, that this project should be abandoned.” 

“We stand by our claim with regards to the faulty environmental analysis of the Tacoma LNG facility,” said Todd Hay, President of Advocates for a Cleaner Tacoma. “We have known for a while that the environmental math simply doesn’t add up and will continue to make our voice heard on this fact. Luckily the tide is turning against LNG as a transition fuel as we are seeing entire shipping markets reject it as part of the solution to address climate change.  LNG has no future in Puget Sound.”

Background:
During the trial this past April, the Puyallup Tribe and community groups brought forward a number of expert witnesses who highlighted deep flaws in the environmental review for the PSE LNG project, which resulted in the inaccurate evaluation that this facility would be a net improvement to greenhouse gas emissions. The project would, in fact, lock in decades of increased use of fracked gas and hinder a shift to clean energy alternatives. Experts also explained how changes in the project design raised serious safety concerns, which were ignored by regulators. 

The Tacoma LNG refining facility, located on the Tacoma Tideflats on the ancestral territory of the Puyallup Tribe, is capable of refining and storing 8 million gallons of LNG.The project has faced years of fierce opposition from the the Puyallup Tribe and the local community who cite climate, health, and safety concerns from the facility as well as permitting agencies’ failure to consult with the Puyallup Tribe. They also cite PSE’s willful misrepresentation of the facility as clean energy and illegal construction of the facility prior to receiving proper permits. 

A schedule for next steps will be released shortly. 

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Power Past Fracked Gas is a coalition of Pacific Northwest health, environmental, faith, and community groups that believe in the power of clean energy and the value of clean water. We oppose new fracked gas infrastructure that locks our region into decades of continued reliance on dirty energy and harmful projects. We support and build on the work of ally coalitions Power Past Coal and Stand Up to Oil. 

350 Deschutes / 350 Eastside / 350 Eugene / 350 PDX / 350 Seattle / 350 Tacoma / 350 Salem, OR / Advocates for a Cleaner Tacoma / Bark / Beyond Toxics / Cascadia Wildlands / Cedar Action / Center for Sustainable Economy / Citizens for Renewables / Columbia Riverkeeper / Earth Ministry / Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics, and Ecology (FUSEE) / Food and Water Watch / La Resistencia / Oregon League of Conservation Voters / Oregon Chapter, Sierra Club / Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility / Native Daily Network / Protectors for Salish Sea / Puyallup Water Warriors / REDefine Tacoma / Rogue Climate / Rogue Riverkeeper / Signal Fire Arts / Stand.earth / Stop Fracked Gas PDX / The Conversation / Vashon Climate Action Group / Washington State Chapter, Sierra Club / Washington Environmental Council / Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility