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Irrigators criticize $100 water rights fee proposal

SALEM — A proposed $100 annual fee on all Oregon water rights has met with criticism from irrigators who say it would contribute to already mounting financial burdens.

Farmers overwhelmingly testified against House Bill 2706, which aims to raise money for water management, during a March 22 hearing before the House Committee on Energy and Environment.

Members of the Klamath Water Users Association, for example, are already paying steep costs to comply with the Endangered Species Act and engage in […]

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DEQ faces lawsuit challenging outdated water pollution permits

Created on Wednesday, 08 March 2017 | Written by Steve Law Most state permits allowing discharges into Oregon waterways expired more than five years ago, petitioners claim Two Portland environmental groups filed suit in Multnomah County Circuit Court today against the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, challenging the legality of its water pollution permitting program in which most polluters are operating under expired permits. Petitioners say DEQ is allowing more than 75 percent of polluters to operate under expired permits.

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Idaho irrigators back bills fighting Oregon fish plan

BOISE — Idaho irrigators are backing four bills in the state Legislature challenging the State of Oregon’s attempt to reintroduce endangered fish into the Snake River watershed upstream of the Hells Canyon Complex of dams.

For decades, the Brownlee, Oxbow and Hells Canyon dams — which provide about 30 percent of Idaho Power Co.’s total energy — have blocked the migration of anadromous salmon and steelhead trout, which once spawned in the upstream channel and tributaries.

The original federal license […]

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Portland finds parasite in drinking water, raising possible need for treatment plant

By Jessica Floum

February 06, 2017

Portland’s water bureau detected a trace amount of cryptosporidium parasite in a test of drinking water from the Bull Run watershed again Monday.

After four straight years not finding any cryptosporidium during weekly water samplings, the city has now detected the parasite four times this year, raising the specter that the city might have to build an expensive treatment plant.

This week’s finding does not raise immediate alarms for human health, officials said. The […]

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California, Oregon farmers lost water in 2001; now they want to be paid

HERALD STAFFSat Jan 28th, 2017 6:51pm By Michael Doyle

McClatchy Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Northern California and Oregon farmers who lost irrigation water in 2001 for the sake of fish are plunging into a climactic courtroom battle for tens of millions of dollars in compensation.

Years in the making, the trial set to start Monday in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims near the White House involves a lot of money, but that’s not all. For other Westerners, too, it […]

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Oregon will defy joint fish management on the lower Columbia River

Jan 20, 2017 The Oregonian

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission ripped a hole Friday in the 99-year-old fabric of concurrent fish management on the Columbia River.

With a split 4-3 vote, commission members defied the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission’s attempt to negotiate the long-contested Columbia River Management Plan. The plan required a switch from gill-netting to selective commercial fishing on the mainstem below Bonneville Dam. It also gave priority allocation of mainstem salmon harvest to sport anglers.

Friday’s […]

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Gillnets on Columbia River: The long-standing debate roars back

 

January 15, 2017

Oregon and Washington’s plans for regulating commercial fishing on the lower Columbia River appear to be drifting apart, like an unmoored boat bobbing away from a dock.

Since 1915, the states have agreed on how to manage the salmon industry on more than 145 shared miles of the river – from the mouth to Bonneville Dam. Five years ago, they decided they would phase out gillnets on the main channel of the Columbia by 2017 as […]

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Court Decision May Mean California Owes Billions In Water Rights

AUBREY BETTENCOURT Executive Director, California Water Alliance 10:26 AM 01/13/2017

Within hours of the release of a potentially adverse federal court decision in late December, the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) extended by two months the open public comment period for consideration of its Bay-Delta Plan.

Elements of its plan include an uncompensated mandate to increase flows on several major California rivers by depriving long-established water-rights holders of access to their water. Now a federal court says the […]

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Exhibitor helps farmers ‘harvest’ water

by Brenna Weingard

January 13, 2017

Ag Capitol Press The No. 1 question Michael Martins of Oregon Rain Harvesting gets is “Is it legal?”

“A lot of people think collecting rainwater in Oregon is against the law — not true,” said Martins, owner of the West Linn, Ore., business. “So long as you capture the water from a manmade structure it’s very legal and is a safe and cost-effective way to reduce the environmental impact of our need for water.”

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Oregon mega-dairy construction raises questions about legality

Tracy Loew January 10, 2017

Statesman-Journal Is a controversial mega-dairy proposed for Oregon’s eastern Columbia Gorge breaking the law by proceeding with construction before getting any water quality permits or even registering as a business?

A dozen state and national health and environmental groups think so, and they’ve formally asked state agencies to investigate.

“Lost Valley Ranch may be constructing the second-largest confined animal feeding operation in the state of Oregon outside the requirements of state law,” the coalition wrote […]

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