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Bill aims to prevent Trump environmental “rollbacks”

By MATEUSZ PERKOWSKI Capital Press February 7, 2019

A bill requiring Oregon government agencies to protect against “rollbacks” of federal environmental regulations has been dismissed as “political theater” by farm, ranch and timber organizations.

Under House Bill 2250, state natural resource agencies would have to monitor whether changes to federal air and water regulations have fallen short of standards enacted under the Obama administration.

The Department of Environmental Quality and other agencies would then recommend or take actions […]

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Hoopa Valley Tribe wins lawsuit against aging Klamath River dams and PacifiCorp

HUMBOLDT COUNTY, Calif. — According to the Hoopa Valley Tribe, the federal court of appeals Friday unanimously sided with the Hoopa Valley Tribe, ruling that FERC, the states of California and Oregon, and PacifiCorp can no longer stall dam license conditions to protect fish.

For decades, the Hoopa Valley Tribe has urged aggressive actions to address the degraded water conditions in the Klamath River. PacifiCorp’s FERC license for operation of the Klamath Project which expired in 2006.

Mandatory conditions and […]

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N.E. Oregon makes progress on water puzzle

By GEORGE PLAVEN Capital Press Jan 3, 2019

It was a crisis more than 60 years in the making.

The Umatilla Basin in northeast Oregon is home to some of the state’s most productive farmland, famously growing more than 200 different crops including wheat, corn, potatoes and watermelon. Irrigation pivots dominate the countryside, transforming scrubby desert into lush, green fields.

The development of the region’s farms and cities, however, came at a price underground. As early as 1958, […]

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Changes to dams on Columbia, Snake rivers to benefit salmon, hydropower and orcas

December 18, 2018 Seattle Times By and

After decades of arguments and court challenges, a landmark agreement supported by states, tribes and federal agencies is expected to change how water is spilled at Columbia and Lower Snake River dams to boost the survival of young salmon while limiting the financial hit to hydropower.

The agreement is to be recorded Tuesday […]

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Donald Trump orders speedup on Klamath water project, others

DENVER — President Donald Trump on Friday ordered the government to speed up environmental reviews and streamline regulations that he says are hindering work on major water projects in California and other Western states.

Trump signed a memorandum aimed at helping the Central Valley Project and the California State Water Project in California, the Klamath Irrigation Project in Oregon and California and the Columbia River Basin system in the Pacific Northwest.

“We will resolve the issues blocking the completion of […]

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Court Upholds Oregon’s Right to Protect Water, Fish From Destructive River Mining

PORTLAND, Ore.— The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld an Oregon law restricting motorized gold mining in sensitive salmon streams. In 2017 Oregon passed the Suction Dredge Reform Bill (S.B. 3) to protect water quality and fish habitat across the state from damaging suction dredge mining.

“The court correctly ruled that states can protect water quality and wild fish from harmful motorized mining,” said Pete Frost with the Western Environmental Law Center. “This decision supports […]

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Oregon issues approval to remove J.C. Boyle Dam on the Klamath River

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued a final certification for the removal of the J.C. Boyle Dam on the Klamath River, according to a press release received Monday from Klamath River Renewal Corporation.

The ODEQ determined removing the dam, located in Klamath County, would improve water quality on the river, restore a more “free-flowing condition” and have long-term benefits for fish populations, according to the press release.

The J.C. Boyle Dam is one […]

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Lawsuit Launched Over Federal Failure to Address Ocean Acidification in Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore.— The Center for Biological Diversity today filed a notice of intent to sue the Trump administration for refusing to recognize that ocean acidification caused by fossil fuel pollution is impairing waterways in Oregon.

Today’s filing notes that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has failed to fulfill its requirement under the Clean Water Act to identify waters impaired by ocean acidification so that they can then be subject to pollution controls and other mitigation measures.

Shellfish and […]

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Judge urges state to act on Upper Klamath Lake water distribution

SALEM — Marion County Judge Claudia M. Burton on Monday ruled in favor of the Klamath Irrigation District (KID) by urging the Oregon Water Resources Department to make a determination on the distribution of water in Upper Klamath Lake.

The case stems from a request by KID earlier this year of the state water agency to regulate the water in the lake, a request that KID officials and legal counsel said was not acknowledged.

“The response […]

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Water war along California-Oregon border pits growers against tribes

TULELAKE, Calif. — As one of the tensest fights for water in the West closes in, residents in this town along the rural California-Oregon border are moving out.

The sidewalks are emptier. The downtown is a ghostly strip of vacant storefronts, struggling lunch spots and liquor stores. The highway nearby is flanked by abandoned silos and crumbling produce warehouses.

The Klamath River has run low, and the economic fallout of a water […]

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