On April 15, the Port of Vancouver USA Board of Commissioners unanimously approved an extension of the port’s lease with Vancouver Energy, the developer of a proposed oil transfer facility at the port.
The amendment extends Vancouver Energy’s permitting contract to March 31, 2017, with automatic three-month extensions after that date unless either party provides written notice of termination.
By next March, both parties would have to be satisfied that conditions such as permits to operate and environmental baseline work are met. If either party isn’t satisfied that these conditions are met on or before the end of the contract, the lease can be terminated.
If no action is taken, the lease continues for another three months.
The amendment approved last week also increases the contingency period fee from $50,000 to $100,000 per month, starting May 1; eliminates the opportunity for Vancouver Energy to operate a second petroleum-by-rail facility at the port; and provides Vancouver Energy 30 months to resolve any appeals if licenses, permits or approvals are granted and appealed.
The amendment also allows the port to use the leased area during the extended contingency period; and stipulates that oil moved through the facility must be “pipeline grade” and destined for domestic ports.
“I think we’ve ended up with a compromise that allows us to continue through the EFSEC process, but with some defined ending,” Vancouver Port Commissioner Brian Wolfe said.
Vancouver Energy’s proposal is moving through the Washington state Energy Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) process. The Evaluation Council began reviewing the project in August 2013 and is expected to make a recommendation to Gov. Jay Inslee, who makes the final decision on the project, late this year or early 2017.