Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association

Tribal Relations

PNWH2 Tribal Webinars

Upcoming Engagement Opportunity

PNWH2 invites tribal leaders and citizens across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana to join us for an interactive webinar on Monday, March 18th. This opportunity is intended to create dedicated space for tribes across the region to gather virtually, learn, and ask questions following the announcement that PNWH2 has been selected by the Department of Energy to enter into negotiations for a funding award.

Participants can expect to hear a brief presentation from PNWH2 board members, the hub’s tribal liaison, and tribal partners followed by an open Q&A period. Tribal leaders are encouraged to share this opportunity widely among your communities. Those that would like to learn more about clean hydrogen generally, the hubs program, or PNWH2 are especially encouraged to attend.

PNWH2 will hold two webinars with identical agendas and presentations via Zoom so participants can tune in with a computer or phone at a time that best aligns with your schedule.

To register for the Mar. 18 lunchtime session on Zoom (noon-1:30 pm PST), click here.

To register for the evening session on Mar. 18 (6:00-7:30 pm PST), click here.

Our Project Selection Committee recommended projects to the board that best met the hub criteria provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, leveraged the region’s renewable resources and reflected the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association’s vision for strong collaboration with Tribal and local communities and strong environmental justice programs.

About the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association

  • The Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association is a multi-state nonprofit coalition of public and private partners spanning Washington, Oregon and Montana. We’re creating a hydrogen network in the Pacific Northwest – called the PNWH2 Hub – to develop and bring clean hydrogen solutions to market that leverage the region’s renewable energy sources and help meet the nation’s clean energy goals.

    • The coalition includes representatives from Tribal Nations, labor, business and industry, higher education, government, and the environmental community spanning the region.

  • The PNWH2 Hub will expand our commitment to community engagement and environmental justice and deepen our partnerships with labor, Tribal Nations, and public and private sectors to bring this growing industry and clean jobs to the region.

Frequently Asked Questions – General

How were projects selected to be in the PNWH2 Hub?

In 2022, we issued three Requests for Interest (RFIs) for organizations to submit projects for review and potential inclusion in the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub.

Our Project Selection Committee recommended projects to the board that best met the hub criteria provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, leveraged the region’s renewable resources and reflected the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association’s vision for strong collaboration with Tribal and local communities and strong environmental justice programs.

How will the hub benefit communities?

Our hub aims to benefit communities by using successful approaches developed in the Pacific Northwest to advance equity and environmental justice, leveraging the project team’s existing relationships to achieve meaningful community and Tribal partnerships.

Consistent with the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 initiative, we will continue to engage communities to define and quantify benefits, avoid disproportionate burdens, and closely track and adjust if necessary to ensure that at least 40% of benefits flow to disadvantaged communities. This is consistent with policies such as the Healthy Environment for All (HEAL) Act, which requires equitable distribution of benefits in major state environmental policies in Washington.  WSU and CHARGE will work to ensure the Community Benefits Plan for the hub addresses these goals and achieves meaningful results for communities.

These benefits will include new, high-quality careers and the development of education and training programs from K-12 through college to ensure a pipeline of trained and qualified workers to build, then operate and maintain these new projects, reduction of local air pollution and environmental exposure in disadvantaged communities, and more.

What kinds of community benefits will be provided?

Community benefits will be co-created with the communities, stakeholders, and tribal governments that are involved with or impacted by a specific project on a node-by-node basis. Therefore, benefits will vary between projects. Broadly, we can expect that benefits will include ongoing community and labor engagement for mutual knowledge sharing and the coordination of strategies and best practices focused on:

    • Community benefits education and accountability
    • Quality jobs at all levels supported by training and development programs that are family-supportive and coordinated with local and regional Tribes, labor organizations, colleges and universities
    • Commitment to Community Benefits agreements (CBAs) and Project Labor Agreements (PLAs)
    • Engagement with K-12 schools, higher education and community organizations to learn about hydrogen safety and technology, and how to be a part of the hydrogen future
    • Access to clean energy, and energy resilience through opportunities related to hydrogen storage
    • Reduced emissions, especially particulate emissions associated with fossil-based transportation fuels
Who are the Association’s Board Members?

The Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association’s Board of Directors includes representatives from Tribal Nations, labor, business and industry, higher education, government, and the environmental community spanning the region.

If asked for specific names/entities:

  • State of Oregon:             ODOE – Janine Benner

    Washington State:          OEDC – Chris Green

    Labor:                                WSLC -April Sims

    Tribal:                                Cowlitz – Kent Caputo

    Environmental:               Seirra Club – Robin Everett

    Industry Association:      RHA – Michelle Detwiler             

    Academia/Research:      CHARGE – Aaron Feaver

    Projects                          

    FFI – Alan Krause,

    AltaGas- Bruce Leonard

    Atlas Agro – Kaustav Chaudhuri

    Mitsubishi Power- Scott Neumeister

    Twin Transit- Joe Clark

    Novo Hydrogen –  Jason Harris

 

How were the board members selected? / How is the board assisting with the application process? / What will the board’s role be if funding is secured?

The Washington State Department of Commerce spearheaded a call for interest for Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association board members.

Representatives from public, private and Tribal organizations were encouraged to submit a letter of interest, resume and references.

The Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association’s goal was a board that included representatives from state and Tribal governments, public and private project developers, manufacturers, end users, research institutions, labor unions, academia, and communities around the state.

How can a company become a project in the hub? How were projects selected to be in the PNWH2 Hub?

In 2022, we issued three Requests for Interest (RFIs) for organizations to submit projects for review and potential inclusion in the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub.

Our Project Selection Committee recommended projects to the board that best met the hub criteria provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, leveraged the region’s renewable resources and reflected the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association’s vision for strong collaboration with Tribal and local communities and strong environmental justice programs.

How will the tribes that participated in drafting the PNWH2 proposal benefit from the anticipated hydrogen production and increased usage?

At a state, regional and national level, there is a clear recognition that Tribes must be engaged and involved as sovereign nations, as environmental stewards, and as project participants and partner governments.  The Tribes that are already partners in the PNWH2 are committed to ensuring real economic opportunities for the benefit of Tribal members and the communities they share, but only through sustainable and responsible environmental, cultural and socially equitable efforts.

The details of these benefits vary by project and Tribe, but generally, the benefits focus on training programs and new clean energy economy jobs, including supply chain and contracting opportunities for local businesses. We expect reductions in local pollution burdens in some communities as fossil fuel infrastructure is converted or repurposed to clean hydrogen. We plan a variety of programs to support workers, including family care, transportation and hydrogen safety awareness and training. These programs build on the strong partnerships that the hub projects and the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association (PNWH2) have worked to develop with Tribal governments, as evidenced by the two PNWH2 Board seats occupied by Tribal government representatives.

DOE and the state governments involved in this proposal remain committed to multiple pathways of engagement including government to government consultation.

How were Tribes engaged and consulted during the H2Hub planning process?

In addition to having Tribal governments as part of the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association Board, we incorporated Tribal engagement into planning elements of the PNWH2 Hub. This engagement included formal government-to-government consultation when requested by Tribes and other communication venues to inform Tribes that chose not to participate in hub planning but may be impacted by the work. Further State Tribal liaisons were important resource people included as part of the proposal development.  The following activities are some examples in which the PNWH2 Hub and the Washington State Department of Commerce engaged and consulted Tribes during the application and review process:

  • April 2022 – Former Washington State Department of Commerce Director Lisa Brown and PNWH2 Chairman Chris Green sent letters to all 29 federally-recognized tribes in Washington notifying them of the intention to apply for DOE hub funding, inviting interested tribes to join the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association, and participate in the development of a full proposal. For those that followed up, PNWH2 and Commerce engaged with tribal leadership and staff to answer questions and discuss involvement.
  • 2022 – Tribal-led organizations such as Northwest Tribal Indian College participates in PNWH2 project review process.
  • January 2023 – PNWH2 presented on the proposed H2Hub to the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) Economic Development Committee.
  • April 2023 — PNWH2 chairs and tribal board members sent a letter to tribal leaders in Washington, Oregon, and Montana, providing an update on the hub proposal process and a second invitation to formally participate.
  • June 2023 – PNWH2 presented on the proposed H2Hub at the ATNI Clean Energy Summit.
  • October 2023 – Commerce presented to Tribal Government Leaders at the Centennial Accord pre-meeting.
How will Tribes be engaged and consulted during the H2Hub implementation process?

Through this next phase of negotiations with the DOE, PNWH2 Hub and Washington Department of Commerce will be strategically engaging with and consulting tribes further to explore potential interests and opportunities to get involved with the hub. The negotiations could take up to 6 months before detailed information about the H2Hub’s can be released. However, Commerce and State Tribal liaisons will continue to create space for ongoing feedback and engagement. Washington State University’s Office of Tribal Relations was also identified to lead the Tribal Community Benefits Plan and will support Commerce and State Tribal Liaisons in this work.

How will the Tribes benefit from the anticipated hydrogen production and increased usage?

At a state, regional and national level, there is a clear recognition that Tribes be engaged and involved as environmental stewards, as project validators, and as partner governments. The Tribes are committed to ensuring real economic opportunities for the benefit of Tribal members and the communities they share, but only through sustainable and responsible environmental, cultural and socially equitable efforts. 

The details of these benefits vary by project and Tribe, but generally, the benefits focus on training programs and new clean energy economy jobs, including supply chain and contracting opportunities for local businesses. We expect reductions in local pollution burdens in some communities as fossil fuel infrastructure is converted or repurposed to clean hydrogen. We plan a variety of programs to support workers, including family care, transportation and hydrogen safety awareness and training. These programs build on the strong partnerships that the hub projects and the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association (PNWH2) have worked to develop with Tribal governments, as evidenced by the two PNWH2 Board seats occupied by Tribal government representatives.

Frequently Asked Questions – Board Representation

Does your board include representatives from broad regional stakeholders?

The Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association’s Board of Directors includes representatives from Tribal Nations, labor, business and industry, higher education, government, and the environmental community spanning the region. 

We will also have representation from these groups on our planned Community Benefits Plan governing board.

Frequently Asked Questions – Engagement & Outreach

What demographics will be served?

The PNWH2 Hub will create economic opportunity across all demographics, creating or supporting more than 10,000 good-paying jobs, improving energy security and resilience, and decreasing environmental burdens in disadvantaged communities to improve the lives and futures of people throughout the region.

The PNWH2 Hub includes representation from unions, environmental groups and Tribal representatives on our Board of Directors and will have representatives from those groups on our planned Community Benefits Plan governing board.

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