Litigation

Conservation Groups File Complaint Against New Columbia River System Operations EIS, BiOp For Salmon, Steelhead

February 5th, 2021

Conservation groups have filed the opening complaint against the Columbia River System Operations 2020 Environmental Impact Statement and Biological Opinion for salmon and steelhead, kicking off yet another round of litigation over the federal approach to recovering these fish listed under the Endangered Species Act. The opening salvo shows breaching Lower Snake River dams will be a central issue in the coming courtroom battles.

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Litigation

Seattle Federal Judge Orders EPA, WDOE To Take Steps To Reduce Polluted Runoff, Review Width Of Streamside Buffers To Protect Salmon

January 15th, 2021

A U.S. District Court judge in Seattle has issued a stipulated order requiring the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Washington Department of Ecology to take steps to reduce polluted runoff from land uses such as farming, grazing, logging, and septic systems.

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Congress Approves Bipartisan Bill Ratifying Confederated Salish-Kootenai Tribes Water Rights Compact

December 22nd, 2020

The U.S. Senate Monday passed a bill that will ratify the water rights settlement between Confederated Salish-Kootenai Tribes and the state of Montana, resolve CSKT's water-related claims with the federal government, establish resources to update critical water infrastructure, and avoid costly litigation.

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Fisheries/Hydro Managers Give High Grades To 2020 Flexible Spill Operations; Aided Juvenile Salmonids, Netted BPA $4.7 Million

December 18th, 2020

The states of Oregon and Washington, the Nez Perce Tribe, the Bonneville Power Administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told the Northwest Power and Conservation Council this week that flexible spill in 2020 met all of a flexible spill agreement’s goals in its second year. All were signatories to the 2018 flexible spill agreement.

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Center For Biological Diversity Issues Intent To Sue Over Lack Of Final Rule For Expanded Critical Habitat For Killer Whales

December 17th, 2020

The Center for Biological Diversity this week filed a notice of intent to sue the federal government for failure to finalize to date expanded habitat protections for critically endangered Southern Resident killer whales, whose population has dipped to just 74 orcas.

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Conservation Groups File Lawsuit Challenging USFWS Decision To Not List Wolverines Under ESA; Stress Climate Change Impacts

December 17th, 2020

A coalition of conservation groups filed a lawsuit this week challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to withhold Endangered Species Act protection from wolverines in the lower 48 states, where no more than 300 animal exist as small, fragmented populations in Idaho, Montana, Washington, Wyoming and northeast Oregon.

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Oregon Files Intent To Challenge Feds’ New EIS/BiOp For Basin Salmon/Steelhead In Case Regional Collaboration Goes Nowhere

December 11th, 2020

While stressing its commitment to regional collaboration, the state of Oregon at the same time has announced its intent to sue the federal government over the new environment impact statement and biological opinion for Columbia River salmon and steelhead, alleging violations of the Endangered Species Act. The state says it is preserving “legal options” in case collaboration falls short.

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In Appeal To Ninth Circuit To Overturn Water Quality Ruling, Deschutes River Alliance Says Adaptive Management Not Working

December 11th, 2020

In asking the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a 2018 U.S. District Court ruling that Portland General Electric had not committed water quality violations at its Pelton Round Butte Project on the Deschutes River, the Deschutes River Alliance asserts that adaptive management has not been effective when it comes to maintaining state water quality standards in the river.

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