Professor questions proposed pipeline in Mt. Hood National Forest
A proposed 47-mile natural gas pipeline through Mount Hood National Forest has raised questions about the Forest Service’s role in upholding environmental standards governing protected areas. According to Forest Service estimates, the Palomar pipeline, slated for construction in 2011, would require clearing more than 700 acres of national forest land, including 100 acres of old-growth forest.
Law professor Dan Rohlf, director of the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center (PEAC), challenges the Forest Service’s role in the $800 million project. Administrative changes put into effect by the Bush Administration have eased the approval process for pipeline projects, he said.
“When FERC shows up at the door and says we want to put the pipeline here, the Forest Service…says, ‘OK, how do we have to amend our plans to get this done.’ They don’t take as hard a look as they used to,” Rohlf said.