Category: Top Stories

BNSF Required to Clean Up Coal Train Pollution »

March 6th, 2017: BNSF Railway (BNSF) will be forced to pay for the cleanup of Pacific Northwest waterways that were polluted for decades by coal or petroleum coke (“petcoke”) emitted from their open-topped train cars. A finalized consent decree lodged with U.S. District Court Judge John Coughenour today brings to a close a Clean Water Act case brought against BNSF by a coalition of environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, Puget Soundkeeper, Columbia Riverkeeper, Spokane Riverkeeper, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and Friends of the Columbia Gorge.

Public-health Experts Urge Oregon Lawmakers to Reduce Air Pollution From Large-scale Dairy Operations »

March 1st, 2017: More than 25 doctors, epidemiologists and health experts today called on Oregon legislators to support Senate Bill 197 and establish commonsense measures to limit dangerous air pollution from large-scale industrial dairy operations. In a letter sent to the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, the group cited “strong evidence” that emissions from massive livestock confinement operations can be harmful to public health and the environment.

Groups Call on Ecology to Protect the Columbia River »

February 27th, 2017: Local and national groups are calling on the Washington Department of Ecology to protect the Columbia River and our climate by overturning Cowlitz County’s approval of the proposed methanol refinery in Kalama, Washington. The groups urge Ecology to consider the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the world’s largest methanol refinery. Columbia Riverkeeper, Sierra Club, and the Center for Biological Diversity expect to appeal if Ecology ignores critical concerns like climate change.


February 23rd, 2017: If Scott Pruitt won’t take action to protect our iconic salmon from climate change, we will go to court. Today, we filed the nation’s first lawsuit against EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Message Sent! »

February 7th, 2017: Carty Generating Station Comment Period wrapped on Friday, Feb. 3, 2016, with over 7,000 comments. Oregonians broke the record for the most comments ever submitted to the Energy Facility Siting Council - all in opposition to PGE’s plan to replace the retiring coal plant at Boardman with two new methane gas plants. Portland General Electric (PGE) proposes deepening the region’s dependence on dirty fossil fuels.

Groups to Defend Portland’s Historic Fossil Fuel Ordinance from Industry Attack »

January 25th, 2017: Today Columbia Riverkeeper, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Audubon Society of Portland, and the Center for Sustainable Economy filed a motion to intervene in an industry-backed lawsuit challenging Portland’s historic fossil fuel ordinance. Last year the City of Portland unanimously passed a first-in-the-country ban on new bulk fossil fuel storage facilities that exceed two million gallons; the ordinance also forbids existing terminals from expanding.


January 23rd, 2017: “The proposed methanol refinery would negatively impact the shorelines of the Columbia River and surrounding communities. Residents from across the region came together to show their opposition at the hearing. A foreign-government controlled chemical refinery is a bad fit for the Columbia River and Kalama.” -Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky, Senior Organizer with Columbia Riverkeeper

Defending Columbia River Communities from Union Pacific Railroad Expansion »

January 23rd, 2017: “Columbia River communities are under siege from massive fossil fuel infrastructure projects that threaten our water and safety. Union Pacific’s track expansion is part of the effort to turn the Columbia River into a fossil fuel highway,” said Lauren Goldberg, Staff Attorney for Columbia Riverkeeper. “We look forward to defending Columbia River communities from Union Pacific’s highly unpopular project.”

Grand Coulee Dam Settlement »

January 19th, 2017: Columbia Riverkeeper reached a settlement with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation designed to end uncontrolled toxic oil pollution from Grand Coulee Dam, finally bringing one of the nation’s biggest dams into compliance with the Clean Water Act. Grand Coulee has leaked oil into the Columbia for over 70 years—endangering public health and threatening fish and wildlife.

Union Pacific Railroad Sues to Exempt Itself From Gorge Protections »

January 12th, 2017: “Columbia River communities are still reeling from the fiery oil train derailment on Union Pacific’s tracks. Union Pacific’s profit-driven lawsuit won’t bully Gorge communities. Even the nation’s biggest railroad must submit to federal laws and treaties with Indian Nations,” stated Lauren Goldberg, Staff Attorney for Columbia Riverkeeper.