And Get to Know Our Neighbors
The Critical Energy Infrastructure Hub (CEI Hub) is a six-mile stretch along the west side of the Willamette River. This place has deep cultural significance for many Indigenous Peoples. Where there was once a bountiful hunting, gathering and trading center for First Peoples of the Pacific NW, ten major fuel terminals clustered here now store 360 millions gallons of fuel—90% of Oregon’s liquid fuel and 100% of the aviation fuel for Portland International Airport. Zenith Energy, which is located here, has historically transported crude oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota and Canadian Alberta tar sands.
The CEI Hub was built before we understood this region’s earthquake risk from the Cascadia Subduction Zone and Portland Fault. Significant parts of the Hub are built on landfill, in what used to be lakes, wetlands and small communities along the river. What seems like solid ground will liquify when an earthquake occurs.
A report on the CEI Hub funded by the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management and Multnomah County Office of Sustainability came out in 2022. It states that there are 630 storage tanks at the CEI Hub. Of the tanks in use, 91% were built before seismic standards were adopted. Some of the tanks are 100 years old. In an earthquake, tanks may rupture. As many as 193 million gallons could be released. This fuel may explode and burn. Death and serious health effects are predicted. Fuel and toxic substances would go into the air, water, and soil, harming wildlife and polluting our environment for decades. Forest Park, our river and streams, and nearby communities would be decimated. The lack of our stored fuel will cripple our entire State’s recovery.
Corporations at the CEI Hub aren’t required to make their tanks meet earthquake safety standards, nor are they responsible for the risks they pose to human life and safety.
Let’s face our situation.
What Can You Do?
Ask political candidates and elected officials what their plan is to protect our city and region from volatile fuels at the CEI Hub. Ask them when Zenith will stop operations. Ask them when the tanks will be moved or seismically upgraded.
This document was created by the CedarAction Zenith Work Group. Get informed and join us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Map art and design by Chloe Kendall.