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The city bureau's decision gave environmentalists, community advocates and dozens of elected officials reason to celebrate.

TONT SCHICK/OPB - An OPB file photo of tank cars on the train tracks outside of the Zenith Energy oil terminal in Portland. The city dealt a blow to Zenith's expansion plans on Friday.The city of Portland dealt a big blow to an oil-by-rail operation when it denied an essential certification that would have expanded Zenith Energy's controversial Northwest Portland oil terminal.

On Friday, Aug. 27, the Portland Bureau of Developmental Services denied a land use compatibility statement, or LUCS, which Zenith Energy needed to move forward with its plans to operate three railcar platforms. The Zenith Energy oil terminal receives crude oil from trains, stores it in tanks and sends it through pipes to outgoing ships. The company has said it plans to expand its transloading and shipping of renewable fuels, too. But it was the shipping of fossil fuels that factored in Friday's decision.

"The journey to this decision was essential — building the appropriate foundation of understanding, consensus, and the need to consult with tribal governments in the region," Bureau of Development Services Commissioner Dan Ryan said in an emailed statement. "We know that the activities carried out at this site, and the fossil fuel products being transported, have the potential to directly impact tribal territories, cultural resources, and tribal treaty rights."

Ryan said the decision reconfirms the city's commitment to address climate change and reduce the city's dependence on fossil fuels.

Oregon Public Broadcasting is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. Their full story can be found here.


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