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NEXT Renewable Fuels Oregon receives air permit

NEXT Renewable Fuels Oregon receives air permit
An aerial view of the proposed site of NEXT Renewable Fuels Oregon (photo courtesy NEXT).

In the United States (US), the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) has approved the air quality permit for the US$2 billion NEXT Renewable Fuels Oregon LLC biorefinery project. The approval is a significant milestone and a key state permit for developing the renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) facility at Port Westward in Columbia County, Oregon (OR).

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According to NEXT Renewable Fuels Inc., the air permit was awarded after ODEQ performed an exhaustive 18-month review. The extended review period included a host of new and novel requirements that NEXT worked to meet and exceed.

As such, ODEQ acknowledged that the NEXT facility does not have an appreciable impact on local air resources.

In its approval, agency leadership stated, “NEXT Renewable Fuels Oregon, LLC is not a major source of EPA-listed hazardous air pollutants,” and “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.”

The NEXT project is a tangible investment in making Oregon’s climate protection goals a reality, especially because it is expected to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 7 million tonnes each year.

ODEQ has stated that “using renewable diesel can cut lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions up to 85 percent.” With no need for engine modification, renewable diesel creates an immediate environmental and human health benefit while curbing reliance on fossil fuels.

It’s imperative that we transition away from fossil fuels towards a cleaner fuels economy as quickly as possible. Our project accelerates green job creation and helps Oregon reach its aggressive decarbonization goals, said Chris Efird, Chairperson and CEO of NEXT.

Generate green jobs and tax revenues

NEXT’s facility is expected to create 3 500 green jobs during construction and 240 long-term green jobs during operation.

According to the company, forecasts show that the facility will generate more than US$45 million in annual tax revenue for the State of Oregon and Columbia County.

NEXT has already received county land use approvals and an Oregon Department of State Lands Removal Fill permit.

The company continues advancing through the National Environmental Policy Act process overseen by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

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