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Port Of Vancouver Prepares For Hearing On Oil Terminal

<p>Near a dock at the Port of Vancouver where crude from the proposed oil terminal would be loaded onto ships.</p>

Conrad Wilson

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Near a dock at the Port of Vancouver where crude from the proposed oil terminal would be loaded onto ships.

Port of Vancouver commissioners are looking for input at a hearing Tuesday about how to move forward with the nation’s largest oil-by-rail terminal.

The Port wants to hear from the public about how to proceed with a proposed lease amendment from the backers of the Vancouver Energy Project.

The hearing will be held at Clark College. It’s expected to last about 12 hours.

“We know that there’s a lot of interest on all sides of the Vancouver Energy Project," said Abbi Russell, a spokeswoman with the port. "We believe there will be a lot of folks who want to come and share their comments, we hope that they will."

The oil terminal is a joint-venture between Tesoro Corporation, an oil company, and Savage Industries, a logistics firm.

Last week, the companies proposed an amendment to the lease that would – among other things — allow two extra years to get state permits. The port staff recommends that commissioners vote against the proposed changes.

It’s taking the project longer than expected to get through Washington state’s permitting process.

Under the current lease, the companies have until August to get permits. If they don’t, either entity can get out of the lease.

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Conrad Wilson is a reporter and producer covering criminal justice and legal affairs for OPB.