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Federal Scientists Say Jordan Cove Won’t Jeopardize Protected Species

A rendering of the proposed Jordan Cove LNG export terminal in Coos Bay.

The proposed Jordan Cove liquified natural gas project will not jeopardize protected species. That’s according to a report by scientists with the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The study looked at the potential impact of the construction and operation of the proposed export terminal at Coos Bay, as well as the 234 mile-long pipeline that would bring the gas from a connection near Malin, southeast of Klamath Falls. The agency’s Michael Milstein says the so-called “biological opinion" -- or “bi-op” -- is part of the federal permitting process meant to protect endangered or threatened species.

"The role of the bi-op is to look carefully at the potential impact to those species to determine whether they could be affected, and if so, the degree, the magnitude of that effect," he says. "Would it really affect their long-term existence and potential for recovery?"

Milstein says the report concluded the project wouldn’t permanently harm species, ranging from whales to salmon, that would be affected.

"The impacts, while significant in the short term, were short-term impacts and in a fairly limited area. And in terms of the pipeline, spread out over the whole length of the pipeline," he says.

The evaluation was conducted under new Trump Administration guidelines meant to streamline the permitting process for major infrastructure projects.

This report just part of a process by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is expected to make a final decision on the pipeline sometime next month.

Liam Moriarty has been covering news in the Pacific Northwest for three decades. He served two stints as JPR News Director and retired full-time from JPR at the end of 2021. Liam now edits and curates the news on JPR's website and digital platforms.