Idaho Water Quality Standards Subject to Pending Legal Action

Federal Agencies Fail to review Idaho Clean Water Standards [box] Update May 15, 2013: By letter dated May 13, 2013 NWEA added additional claims to its lawsuit against EPA over its failure to consult under the Endangered Species Act on Idaho water quality standards. [/box] Eighteen years ago the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality submitted changes to its water quality standards to EPA for approval.  These standards, and changes made in the nearly two decades […]

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NWEA Sues EPA for Approving Temperature Clean-Up Plans (TMDLs)

Following the February 2012 federal court ruling in our Temperature Standards lawsuit that Oregon could not automatically change its water quality standards without federal agency approval, NWEA filed a challenge to the results of Oregon’s use of that provision.  All of Oregon’s temperature clean-up plans (called Total Maximum Daily Loads or “TMDLs”) have changed Oregon’s temperature standards without evaluating whether the resulting temperatures are safe for salmon, steelhead, and bull trout.  While Oregon’s standards call […]

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Oregon Fails to Control Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution from Logging and Agriculture

The most persistent source of water pollution in this country comes from nonpoint sources – the logging, farming, and grazing that doesn’t require a Clean Water Act permit to pollute.  While Congress left nonpoint source pollution controls to the states, it passed the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments (CZARA) tying states’ receipt of federal grant funds to their nonpoint source controls in coastal watersheds.  NWEA sued the federal agencies that administer the CZARA program.  The […]

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NWEA Files Friend-of-the-Court Brief on Logging Roads Case

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard arguments on whether industrial logging roads should have Clean Water Act permits like other pollution discharge sources.  After all, we require a wide range of activities that eventually funnel pollution through a pipe or ditch to be covered by stormwater permits.  To support this case, NWEA filed an amicus brief that chronicles the history of Oregon’s failure to protect  water quality from logging from 1998 to the present.

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