EPA Forced to Set Toxic Standards for Oregon Waters

U.S. EPA AGREES TO PROMULGATE TOXIC STANDARDS FOR OREGON WATERS Under the terms of a federal court order signed Friday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agreed to develop federal rules for three toxic chemicals in Oregon’s waters. The three metals were called out by the federal fish and wildlife agencies in 2012 as dangerous to threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead. The lawsuit, filed by the Portland, OR-based Northwest Environmental Advocates (NWEA) last year, […]

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Puget Sound aquatic species endangered by Federal inaction

Lawsuit Challenges Federal Inaction To Evaluate Toxic Effects in Puget Sound Federal inaction is putting threatened and endangered species that use Puget Sound and other Washington waters at greater risk, according to a lawsuit filed in Seattle yesterday. Northwest Environmental Advocates in its lawsuit is accusing federal agencies of failing to complete formal evaluations of the effects of cyanide and copper on threatened and endangered species that depend upon Puget Sound and Washington’s waters. Some […]

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Lawsuit Seeks Reduced Arsenic in Idaho Waters

NWEA sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Thursday over its 2010 approval of Idaho’s water quality standards for arsenic.  The levels approved by EPA are up to 1,000 times more than EPA has determined are safe for people to consume through eating fish and drinking water.  The complaint can be found here. Idaho had chosen to use EPA’s standards from the Safe Drinking Water Act instead of EPA’s recommendations under the Clean Water Act, resulting […]

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EPA, Issue Standards For Oregon Toxics Or Else!

NWEA sends “Notice of Intent” to file Lawsuit over Oregon Toxics. NWEA informed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today to expect a lawsuit in 60 days due to its failure to ensure Oregon toxics standards protect threatened and endangered salmon. NWEA told EPA that it would sue to force the agency to adopt limits for four toxic pollutants that a federal fishery agency determined jeopardize threatened and endangered salmon at current allowable levels. “Everything […]

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Feds find Idaho Toxic Standards Pose Jeopardy to Salmon

In response to a lawsuit filed by NWEA in June 2013, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on May 7, 2014 issued a biological opinion (“BiOp”) finding Idaho toxic standards pose jeopardy to salmon and other threatened and endangered species. The standards in question were first submitted by Idaho in 1994 and approved by EPA in 1996. As far back as 2002, NMFS and EPA had concluded that some of the toxics standards were inadequate […]

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WA water quality standards for toxics not adequate to protect human health

WA water quality standards for toxics not adequate to protect human health NWEA filed a petition with EPA today asking that the EPA Administrator make a formal “determination” pursuant to the Clean Water Act that Washington’s water quality standards for toxics are not adequate to protect human health or aquatic life.  Such an Administrator’s determination would trigger a requirement that EPA step in and establish Washington’s water quality standards for the state. Interestingly enough, EPA […]

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Letter Takes WA Governor to Task Over Advisory Group

In a letter sent to Washington Governor Jay Inslee on September 13, NWEA took the Governor to task for setting up a process to bring yet more political influence to the already fraught “political football” of Washington’s fish consumption-based toxic criteria for the protection of human health.  The letter first criticizes the Governor for not allowing environmental groups to choose their own representative to his process, in which the groups are now represented by . […]

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Lawsuit Filed over Idaho Toxics

NWEA filed a lawsuit over Idaho toxics standards because a 17 year delay by federal fish and wildlife agencies in reviewing the state’s water quality standards is unlawful. The lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, filed June 14, claims the agencies have unreasonably delayed taking action under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). NWEA’s case points out that the agencies determined as long ago as 2002 that Idaho’s […]

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NWEA resigns from Washington process to adopt new criteria for toxics

NWEA resigned from the Washington Department of Ecology’s process to adopt new human health criteria for toxics today. NWEA was the last remaining participant not affiliated with pollution sources. In a letter to Ecology Director Maia Bellon, NWEA wrote that “Ecology has pandered excessively to monied interests, failed to demonstrate a serious commitment to using the Clean Water Act to control toxic pollution, and will use the outcome of this Delegates’ Table process to justify […]

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It’s Time to Tell Oregon DEQ to Restrict Pesticides to Save Salmon!

In August, Northwest Environmental Advocates filed a petition with the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission (a board that makes rules for the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)). DEQ is taking public comment on whether to grant the petition – until September 18th. Write the DEQ and urge them to grant NWEA’s petition. When and How Public Hearing in Portland, Wednesday, Sept. 12th from 4:30-6:30 at DEQ headquarters, 811 S.W. 6th Ave., 10th Floor. Public Comments due […]

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