Next Renewable Fuels receives milestone air permit approval

By Next Renewable Fuels | August 31, 2022

Today, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality approved the air quality permit for Next Renewable Fuels’ $2 billion clean fuels project. The approval is a significant milestone and key state permit for developing the renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel facility at Port Westward in Columbia County, Oregon.

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 emissions by 7 million tons 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,” emphasized Chris Efird, Next CEO and chairperson. “Our project accelerates green job creation and helps Oregon reach its aggressive decarbonization goals.”

Efird’s comments echo those of ODEQ Director Richard Whitman, who wrote a guest editorial in the Oregonian highlighting how “renewable fuels production and refining are burgeoning industries in Oregon creating hundreds of new, high paying jobs.”

Next’s facility is expected to create 3,500 green jobs during construction and 240 long-term green jobs during operation. Forecasts show that the facility will generate more than $45 million in annual tax revenue for the State of Oregon and Columbia County. Tax revenues could be used for public safety, education, infrastructure, libraries, and other public services.

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 Protection Act process overseen by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. For more information on the clean fuels project, visit www.nextrenewables.com