Category: Top Stories
April 28th, 2017: Today, the Washington State Department of Ecology and Cowlitz County released the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) for the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals project in Longview, Washington, the last remaining coal export terminal proposed in the Pacific Northwest. State agencies and Cowlitz County will use the FEIS to decide whether to issue or deny permits to Millennium.
April 18th, 2017: Today, the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Washington entered an agreement settling a Clean Water Act case between Columbia Riverkeeper and Sandvik Special Metals, LLC. In addition to updating the facility’s pollution control technology, Sandvik will pay $650,000 to three non-profit organizations in Washington: Futurewise, Friends of Toppenish Creek, and the Center for Environmental Law and Policy. The groups will use the funds for projects to protect and restore water quality in the Columbia and its tributaries in Eastern Washington.
April 11th, 2017: Federal dam operators on the Columbia and Snake rivers must increase water releases over spillways at eight dams to improve survival rates for juvenile salmon migrating to the ocean starting in 2018, a federal court ruled March 28, 2017.
April 6th, 2017: Today, April 6, 2017, a coalition of environmental and public health groups called on Democratic leaders in the Washington House of Representatives to ensure that Washington transportation dollars cannot be used to build portions of the world’s largest methanol refinery and export terminal proposed in Kalama, Washington. The methanol facility is proposed by a company called Northwest Innovation Works LLC (NWIW), which is controlled by the Chinese government.
March 31st, 2017: Today, March 31, 2017, the State of Oregon issued the Oregon Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) Individual National Pollutant Discharge System (NPDES) Permit for Lost Valley Farm. The Oregon Legislature can fix this loophole by passing SB 197, a bill that would end unchecked pollution from mega dairies.
March 30th, 2017: “The scale of this project is stunning. Lost Valley Farm would produce more biological waste than most Oregon cities and consume more water than most factories. Oregonians value clean water and strong salmon runs. Factory farms like Lost Valley fly in the face of those values.” -Lauren Goldberg, Staff Attorney for Columbia Riverkeeper
March 13th, 2017: Legislators, elected leaders from the Columbia River Gorge, physicians, and fishers will join conservation groups on March 13, 2017, to hold a press briefing in support of strong legislation to bolster Oregon’s rules for oil trains and strengthen Oregon’s review process for oil terminals. In the wake of the June 3, 2016 Mosier oil train derailment, the group is concerned about major public health, safety, and environmental risks of crude oil trains.
March 9th, 2017: A coalition of groups fighting large-scale factory farms in Oregon will host a press conference in support of Oregon Senate Bill (SB) 197 prior to the legislative hearing at the Capitol. SB 197 would require the Environmental Quality Commission to adopt by rule a program for regulating air contaminant emissions from dairy confined animal feeding operations consistent with the recommendations of a 2008 Governor-appointed Task Force on the issue.
March 7th, 2017: Today in a 2-1 vote, the Port of Vancouver Commission allowed its lease for the Tesoro Savage oil terminal to extend for an additional three months, despite growing pressure on the Port to pull the plug on the languishing, unpopular proposal. Tesoro Savage has proposed the largest oil-by-rail terminal in North America, capable of shipping 360,000 barrels of crude oil each day. Already, the Cities of Vancouver, Washougal, and Spokane, Columbia River Treaty tribes, ILWU Local 4, Vancouver’s Waterfront Development Project, the Fruit Valley Neighborhood Association, the Washington Department of Natural Resources, and Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson have called on Washington’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) to recommend denial.
March 7th, 2017: Columbia Riverkeeper, Washington Environmental Council, and Sierra Club took steps today to defend the Washington Department of Natural Resources against a high-profile lawsuit filed by backers of the nation’s largest coal export terminal. On February 2, 2017, Millennium Bulk Logistics and NW Alloys, a subsidiary of Alcoa, sued the Washington Department of Natural Resources after the department denied a key lease needed for Millennium to operate a proposed 44 million ton per year coal export terminal along the Columbia River.