Three of five Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioners have conditionally approved the Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas project.
The meeting is taking place at a regular session today in Washington, D.C., is the culmination of a federal approval process for the Bradwood project that began in 2005.
The other two commissioners are offering their views later.
The approval includes 109 conditions Bradwood project developer NorthernStar Natural Gas must meet before it can begin construction.
The Bradwood Landing project, proposed for a site 20 miles east of Astoria on the Columbia River, is the front-runner of three LNG terminal proposals in Oregon. The terminals receive imported, supercooled natural gas liquid from tankers and reheat it to a vapor before sending it out to customers via pipeline. A second terminal is proposed for the Skipanon Peninsula in Warrenton and a third proposal is in Coos Bay.
LNG opponents have said they fully expected FERC to approve Bradwood's application, but they don't see the federal approval as the end of their fight to block the development.
"It's now more important than ever for the governor to stand up to take a stand for the salmon in the river," said Brownsmead resident Ted Messing, a project opponent. "It's not a done deal. The governor has the ability to stop this."
In order to begin construction on the $650 million Bradwood Landing LNG terminal and pipeline, NorthernStar needs several approvals from state agencies. The company has outstanding permit applications at the state Water Resources Department, Department of Environmental Quality and Land Conservation and Development Department. Although Clatsop County has approved the company's local land-use application, the approval faces challenges at the state Land Use Board of Appeals.
Voters in Clatsop County Tuesday rejected a county decision to allow pipelines in park-zoned land by a 2-1 margin.