Labor, business and maritime leaders today urged the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) to approve the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Industrial Stormwater Permit for Vancouver Energy. The community leaders spoke at a public hearing on the permit at Clark College's Columbia Tech Center in Vancouver.

Vancouver Energy is committed to environmental stewardship, supporters told the council, and the industrial stormwater permit process shows that the project will meet all stormwater standards.

"The community will be protected by this permit, by all the other regulations and oversight on Vancouver Energy, and by the dedication of the people who build it and work at it," said Shane Nehls of Ironworkers Local 29.

"This is a good, solid proposal that ensures that the Columbia River remains healthy and vibrant for all," said Dave Konz of Tidewater Transportation and Terminals. "And I am confident that Vancouver Energy’s workers have the skills and know-how to operate an environmentally responsible terminal that is mindful of our waterways...By following the guidelines and going beyond what is legally required, Vancouver Energy has not only demonstrated that it is a first-rate partner with the state, but also that it’s up to the challenge of running an oil terminal safely and responsibly."

Steve Burger, a member of Boilermakers Union Local 242, told the council about the 300 construction jobs, and 1,000 jobs a year that Vancouver Energy will support.

"Not all jobs are created equal," Burger said. "The jobs created by Vancouver Energy and its $2 billion economic impact will support families. They will help make our community stronger.

"I urge you to approve the Industrial Stormwater Permit for Vancouver Energy, and bring this project one step closer to providing jobs and significant other benefits to our community."

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