NWEA's Advocacy Against Channel Deepening
NWEA has spearheaded the region's opposition to deepening the Columbia and Willamette shipping channels to 43 feet. This has taken many approaches in many arenas, including the ones mentioned below.
In response to the approval issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service
(NMFS) of the project, NWEA filed a lawsuit. The case
requests that the court set aside the Biological Opinion approving the
project and prevent others from relying upon the approval. NWEA alleged
that the BiOp did not:
NWEA was joined by American Rivers, Trout Unlimited, Pacific Coast Federation
of Fishermen's Association, and Institute for Fisheries Research. In late
August 2000, NMFS withdrew its Biological Opinion after Seattle Court
Judge Rothstein rejected agency efforts to have the case dismissed. The
case is still pending.
NWEA has prepared extensive public comments for several public comment periods. NWEA submitted comments to the Army Corps of Engineers regarding its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). This includes comments on the Draft EIS as well as its Final EIS. NWEA also prepared comments on the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality's 401 water quality certification and Washington Department of Ecology's Coastal Zone Management Act consistency review.
NWEA has worked with state and local agencies that are concerned about the channel deepening project. It has sought an economic reanalysis of the project from the Corps. It has encouraged Oregon and Washington to obtain additional time for consideration of water quality impacts. NWEA has also encouraged the Northwest Power Planning Council to consider the effects of this project on the salmon recovery projects that are part of its hydroelectric dam mitigation program.
Read an Editorial by the Oregonian and NWEA's response:
133 SW 2nd Ave., Portland, OR 97204-3526 (503) 295-0490 FAX 295-6634