The statement below can be attributed to John Plaza, founder and CEO of Imperium Renewables:
Beginning last year, Imperium started the process of permitting the construction of a multi-commodity terminal expansion adjacent to its existing 100 million gallon biodiesel facility. It has applied for and received a vast majority of the permits required for the construction of this expansion, including a Shoreline Substantial Development permit and accompanying environmental review by the City of Hoquiam and Department of Ecology. Earlier this year, a small contingent of opponents appealed to the Shoreline Hearings Board for further review of the Hoquiam Shoreline permit.
Yesterday, the Shoreline Hearings Board administrative law judge issued a letter providing Imperium and other interested parties some initial guidance on the Board's decisions regarding information that both the proponents of the project filed, as well as the opposition. The letter issued yesterday does not constitute a final order for all involved, but does give the parties some clear direction on the pending conclusions from the Board that is expected in the coming weeks.
The Board’s letter indicates that the Board will require some further review on several discrete topics and Imperium is already well on the way to completing this additional review. Earlier this year, Imperium began consulting with various experts to continue to evaluate the potential risks the project could pose, both in response to the opponents’ claims and to address the additional review requested by the agencies as conditions of approval. The focus of these experts was to compile responses and information for the permitting agencies on any potential issues, as well as any potential impacts to the community from additional rail and vessel traffic.
In addition, experts were hired in preparation for the appeal of the Imperium Shoreline permit to further define the appropriate mitigation required by the agencies through the SEPA process. These additional experts, who specialize in the fields of heavy industrial construction, spill response mitigation, rail hazards, cultural and archeological evaluations and many other areas, had been engaged to fully assess these issues in anticipation of providing clear guidance to Shoreline Hearing Board that the MDNS, as issued by Ecology and the City, was adequate. For Imperium, the good news is that much, if not all, of the additional evaluation materials that the Board highlighted in its letter yesterday have already been prepared by Imperium’s expert consultants.
Imperium remains confident that the project impacts are fully understood by the agencies and by leading experts in the field, and that the mitigations highlighted in the letter from the Shoreline Hearing Board have already been addressed as part of this extensive process undertaken by Imperium. Imperium also believes that the existing regulations and the mitigation measures proposed by the City of Hoquiam and Department of Ecology adequately address any potential impacts. We intend to continue to complete the required evaluations and further our efforts of collaborating with the City and Ecology on these assessments.
Imperium has every confidence that the pending final decision from the Shorelines Hearing Board will ultimately lead Imperium to obtaining its desired expansion permits in the near future. We remain committed to the terminal expansion, as it is a strategic priority for Imperium and its success will create new opportunities for us and significant economic development in the region.
About Imperium Renewables
Imperium Renewables is a global leader in next-generation biofuel production in the US. Founded in 2004, the company continues to focus on providing safe domestic fuel supplies for the marketplace and providing family wage jobs in Washington State. Imperium Renewables operates one of the nation's largest BQ-9000 certified biodiesel facilities, Imperium Grays Harbor in Hoquiam, Wash., which is capable of producing up to 100 million gallons per year. More information is available at www.imperiumrenewables.com.