Wild Fish Advocates File Lawsuit Challenging Washington Hatchery Reform Policy Changes, Increased Hatchery Salmon For Orcas

October 14th, 2021

Conservation groups this week filed in King County Superior Court a challenge to Washington’s changes to its hatchery reform policy and efforts to increase hatchery production of chinook and coho salmon at Puget Sound and Columbia River hatcheries to increase the food supply for Southern resident killer whales, listed as endangered in 2005.

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Judge Lays Out Schedule For Hearing On Preliminary Injunction Requesting More Spill For Fish, Lower Reservoirs At Columbia/Snake Dams

September 23rd, 2021

A request for a preliminary injunction to increase spill next year at lower Columbia and Snake river dams, as well as to lower operating pools behind the dams to aid migrating juvenile and adult salmon and steelhead, took one more step forward in federal court.

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Litigation

EPA Rescinds Trump Administration’s Guidance On Clean Water Act Permits For Pollution Discharges Through Groundwater

September 23rd, 2021

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is rescinding a guidance document entitled “Applying the Supreme Court’s County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund Decision in the Clean Water Act Section 402 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit Program” that was issued by the Trump administration in January, 2021. With this action, EPA says it is preserving longstanding clean water protections.

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Judge Issues Final Order For Operations At Corps’ Willamette Valley Dams To Aid ESA Salmon, Steelhead; Deep Drawdowns, Spill

September 2nd, 2021

A final order by U.S. District Court Judge Marco Hernandez this week described in detail the interim actions that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must take at its 13 Willamette Valley Project dams to protect threatened wild spring chinook and winter steelhead.

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Willamette River Reservoirs Far Below Average As Parties Move Forward On Court-Ordered Interim Measures To Address Listed Steelhead, Chinook

August 26th, 2021

Federal storage dams in the Willamette River basin are at an average of just 37 percent of capacity, hit hard this year by drought. Overall, they should be at nearly twice that – 68 percent capacity. And there is little in the weather forecast that will change that over the next few weeks.

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Litigation

Group Sues EPA Over Discharge Permits For Puget Sound Sewage Treatment Plants, Says Improperly Discharging Nitrogen, Creating Dead Zones

August 26th, 2021

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was sued in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this week for what the lawsuit alleges is a failure to respond to a petition seeking to remove Washington State’s authority to issue discharge permits under the Clean Water Act.  The 2017 petition took aim at permits issued by the Washington Department of Ecology for sewage treatment plants that discharge nitrogen to Puget Sound without the required permit limits.

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Group Seeks ESA Consultations Over Expansion Of Large Ship Traffic In Columbia/Snake Rivers; Says Wake Stranding Harms Listed Fish

July 29th, 2021

The Center for Biological Diversity is calling on the Biden Administration to engage in Endangered Species Act consultations on the impacts of the America’s Marine Highway Program on protected species, including salmon and steelhead in the Columbia and Snake rivers.

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