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Idaho, Oregon reach agreement on hydro-project

By KEITH RIDLER Associated PressApr 24, 2019

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho and Oregon have reached an agreement on a hydroelectric project on the Snake River that requires an Idaho utility to spend about $312 million on water quality and habitat improvements.

Idaho Republican Gov. Brad Little and Oregon Democratic Gov. Kate Brown in separate news releases announced the agreement Monday.

“This long-awaited agreement supplies clean, affordable energy for Idahoans, improves water quality, and provides additional fish for recreational […]

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Columbia River Treaty deadline could shift downstream flood risk management

LEWISTON, Idaho — The way dams and storage reservoirs on the Columbia River and its tributaries are managed could change dramatically in a short five years if negotiators from the United States and Canada don’t strike a deal.

At issue is the Columbia River Treaty, a transboundary agreement that has governed flood risk management and hydropower production for more than five decades. The treaty is evergreen, meaning it doesn’t have […]

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Growing number of toxic algae blooms worries Oregon Legislature

, Salem Statesman Journal March 15, 2019

Oregon lawmakers are scrambling to come up with a long-term plan for detecting and responding to harmful algal blooms in drinking and recreational water supplies.

The push follows several recent incidents, including a toxic algae bloom that shut down Salem’s municipal water supply for more than a month last year.

In that case, a bungled alert caused a brief panic, followed by a […]

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Phosphorus ‘mined’ from waste water

Capitol Press by GAIL OBERST

February 14, 2019

HILLSBORO, Ore. — An innovative process that turns wastewater into phosphorous fertilizer granules is simplifying Oregon’s complicated relationship with this essential nutrient.

On one hand, phosphorus is needed for all living things to grow, said Brett Laney, operations analyst for Clean Water Services, headquartered in Hillsboro.

On the other hand, too much phosphorous runoff can create aquatic “dead zones” and algae blooms, overwhelming wildlife habitats and fouling drinking water.

Clean Water Services, […]

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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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Report: Oregon’s 2018 proof of climate change

By David Steves, OPB

Published: January 31, 2019, 9:38 PM

Climate change is playing out in significant ways in Oregon, with evidence in the form of more severe wildfires, lower summer stream flows and diminishing winter snowpacks, according to the state’s fourth annual climate assessment report.

The report, issued Thursday by the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, made it clear that climate change is no longer something to discuss as part of the Northwest’s future.

It’s happening now — […]

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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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SENATOR MERKLEY HOSTS SCIENCE SUMMIT TO IDENTIFY SOLUTIONS FOR SUCKERS

KLAMATH FALLS, OR – Oregon’s U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley on Friday hosted a science summit, the Sucker Recovery Summit, to share updates on the health of the species and to discuss possible short-term options to help the Lost River (C’waam) and shortnose (Koptu) suckers survive until long-term solutions take effect.

Merkley developed the Sucker Recovery Summit after meeting earlier this year with Klamath-area stakeholders affected by water resource issues; all parties pointed to sucker survival as a critical element to […]

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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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