Oregon cheating on water quality trading program

Pollution credit trading is a new idea that is already badly tarnished. Many examples of abuses exist, including an increase in production of dangerous gases in response to a United Nations climate change credit initiative. In the Pacific Northwest pollution credit trading is being touted as the solution to widespread pollution problems. But what happens when landowners are paid to plant trees they are already supposed to have planted? And what happens when agencies assume […]

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EPA Fails to Evaluate Washington’s Water Quality Standards

Over twenty years ago the Washington Department of Ecology water quality standards changes to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approval. These standards, and updates made in the two decades since then, set the allowable levels of toxic chemicals for the protection of aquatic life. They include copper and ammonia – some of the most toxic to threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead. The Endangered Species Act requires EPA to consult with the federal […]

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Fed Agency Calls for Minimum Stream Buffer on Agriculture Lands

In January 2013 the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) sent two other federal agencies a letter regarding the need for riparian buffers along streams in western Washington agricultural lands. The letter includes NMFS’s recommendation for minimum buffers to rebuild populations of Puget Sound salmon and steelhead that are at risk of extinction. The goal of the scientifically-based minimum buffers is to meet water quality standards and protect salmon habitat. The letter notes that, while the […]

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