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Oregon Department of Lands: State of Wyoming Lacks Standing to Challenge Denial of Port Morrow Permit

Posted in Emerging Policy, Energy Policy, Project Permitting

Late last week, the Oregon Department of State Lands denied the State of Wyoming’s request to challenge the Department’s denial of Ambre Energy’s application for a removal-fill permit. (We were following this case at the end of August.) The Department said that Wyoming lacked standing because it had not shown how it would be adversely affected by the permit denial. The decision was based in part Wyoming’s failure to submit  comments on the Department’s review of the application and in part on Wyoming’s inability to show how it would be harmed by “the authorized project.” In other words, under the Department’s interpretation of Oregon regulations, for standing purposes, you have to be the applicant, an adjacent landowner, a commenter, or someone harmed by the project; you don’t have standing if you are harmed only if the project does not proceed.

The Applicant’s and Port of Morrow’s requests for hearings were granted, so the case marches on, although without the fascinating interstate commerce arguments that Wyoming would have brought to the table. Okay, yes, I’m a sucker for  constitutional law questions.