ODEQ conducted a thorough 18-month review to ensure that NEXT met all of the requirements, and did not have an appreciable impact on local air resources, according to the company.
“DEQ has concluded the potential emissions meet health risk standards for the community and do not require additional controls to be protective of public health,” agency leadership said.
This development, projected to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 7 million tons per year, will advance Port Westward’s renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel facility in Columbia County.
According to ODEQ, renewable diesel could reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by up to 85%.
“It’s imperative that we transition away from fossil fuels towards a cleaner fuels economy as quickly as possible,” Chris Efird, CEO and chairperson of NEXT, said. “Our project accelerates green job creation and helps Oregon reach its aggressive decarbonization goals.”
During the construction of the renewable diesel facility, NEXT is expected to open 3,500 green jobs. An additional 240 long-term jobs are expected during operation. Projections show that the facility could generate over $45 million in annual tax revenue for Oregon and Columbia County.
The company has obtained county land use approvals and an Oregon Department of State Lands Removal Fill permit; the next steps include advancing through the National Environmental Policy Act process, which is overseen by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, according to the company.