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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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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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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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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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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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Environmental group to use North Coast microplastics data to push for water quality standards

After years of surveys and beach cleanups, microplastics data collected at Fort Stevens State Park and Crescent Beach near Ecola State Park will be at the forefront of an environmental group’s push to influence state policy.

The Center for Biological Diversity, a West Coast nonprofit, is submitting data from several Oregon beaches to the state Department of Environmental Quality in an attempt to list the nearby water as contaminated.

“If the beach is contaminated, there’s good reason to believe the […]

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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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