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Oregon delays permit for Port of Morrow coal dock

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) -- The state of Oregon wants more information before deciding whether to let a special dock be built at the Columbia River port of Morrow for coal shipments to Asia.

Department of State Lands Assistant Director Bill Ryan said Thursday the department has put off a decision until Sept. 1 so the Australian company Ambre Energy can put together the information.

Issues include impacts on Columbia River fisheries, water quality, and the overall need for the shipments.

Project backers initially objected, but later acquiesced, saying they believed the department was likely to deny the permit until the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finishes consideration of a similar permit.

Gov. John Kitzhaber has expressed reservations about the local environmental impacts of the coal shipments and the global impacts of burning more coal.