Water Quality Trading an Oregon Failure

NWEA has just released an extensive letter from Executive Director, Nina Bell, to Region 10 of the U.S. EPA, dated July 17, 2014, that examines Oregon’s water quality trading program. In the letter, Ms. Bell details the many deficiencies plaguing the Oregon program that have undermined its structural integrity, robust safeguards, and administrative independence. Specifically, the letter points to three main areas of major concern: In the letter, Ms. Bell tells Dan Opalski, Director of […]

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Dairy Cow Manure and the Oregon Fiction

Oregon has a problem with dairy cow manure, it’s sprayed on fields, leaks from piles, and is dumped into rivers. But on paper, this manure is covered by a Clean Water Act discharge permit so strict that apparently almost nothing is ever discharged to Oregon’s waterways at least according to state agencies. Based on this fiction they have written, the Oregon agencies recently created another fiction: the permit needs no improvement. For this reason it’s […]

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Nuclear Power Plant Waste Discharges to Columbia River Challenged

The nuclear power plant formerly known as WPPSS No. 2, now called the Columbia Generating Station (CGS), has a permit to discharge wastes to the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River.  A nuclear power plant uses a lot of water and chemicals in its cooling system. The Clean Water Act permit, issued by the Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC), that allows the plant to both discharge waste water and to take in cooling […]

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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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