Port of Vancouver approves Tesoro lease - again

The board of the Port of Vancouver has for a second time unanimously approved a 10-year lease for Tesoro Savage Petroleum Terminal.

The second vote by the Port of Vancouver's board on a 10-year lease for Tesoro Savage Petroleum Terminal went pretty much like the first.

The board on Tuesday unanimously approved the lease for a crude oil handling facility at the port. Tesoro wants to bring North American crude oil to the port by rail and then transfer it to marine vessels headed for West Coast refineries.

The board had OK'd the lease in July, but decided to hold a second vote after opponents questioned the procedure surrounding the initial vote. They claimed the board's use of an executive session during a workshop leading up to the vote was inappropriate.

Three public interest groups — Columbia Riverkeeper, the Northwest Environmental Defense Center and the Sierra Club — had challenged the Port’s earlier decision under the Washington Open Public Meetings Act.

Todd Coleman, the Port’s CEO, said while the use of an executive session was appropriate, the commission opted to take another vote on the matter in the interest of transparency.

Tesoro Savage is expected to invest about $100 million to ready the 42-acre site, and the facility will create up to 120 permanent jobs and 250 temporary construction jobs. The port estimates its revenue over the 10-year lease will exceed $45 million.

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