Clean Water Act

Environmental Lawsuits
5:43 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Environmental Groups Sue Over Nuclear Power Permit

On Friday, environmentalists sued the Columbia Generating Station in Richland, WA for violating the Clean Water Act.
Credit Energy Northwest / Northwest News Network

Three environmental groups filed a lawsuit Friday claiming the Northwest’s only nuclear power plant is harming endangered fish. The groups are suing a Washington state permitting agency because they said it issued a permit that violates the Clean Water Act.

The environmentalists said the Columbia Generating Station in Richland discharges too much toxic material into the water. They said that material can accumulate in fish that people eat.

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Clean Water Act
7:35 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Farmers Urge EPA To "Ditch The Rule"

Angela Bailey farms decorative trees and shrubs near Gresham, Oregon.
Credit Photo by Chris Lehman. / Northwest News Network

And now a story about farmers and water. It’s a common and often contentious issue out here in the West. Well now farmers across the country are also riled up. That’s because the U.S. EPA wants to revise the clean water act. As Correspondent Chris Lehman explains depending on who you talk to these revisions are either a “land grab” under the “brute force” of the federal government or a simple clarification of rules that ensure all Americans have clean water to drink.

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Northwest News
9:27 am
Thu October 17, 2013

EPA Sued To Deal With Ocean Acidification

The Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit against the EPA calling on it to do something about the acidifying waters of the Northwest.

The ocean absorbs millions of tons of greenhouse gases every day, and those gases are lowering the ocean’s pH and causing problems for shellfish and other creatures.

Under the Clean Water Act a water body can be declared “impaired” if it is too acidic.

Then it falls on the EPA to regulate the source of the pollution that’s causing the problem. In this case – CO2 emissions.

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Coal Company Lawsuit
4:31 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Environmental Groups Announce Plan To Sue Rail And Coal Companies Under Clean Water Act

A coalition of environmental groups say coal that escapes from trains is polluting the water and should be regulated under the Clean Water Act.
Credit Callum Black / Wikimedia Commons

A coalition of environmental groups that oppose exporting coal through terminals in the Northwest have announced plans to file a lawsuit against BNSF Railway and several coal companies. The groups say coal that escapes from trains is polluting the water and should be regulated under the Clean Water Act.

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Clean Water Act
6:37 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Idaho Town Struggles With Clean Water Act Requirements

This is the new municipal wastewater treatment plant. It officially opened in 2007. It has been used to treat industrial waste until a more permanent fix can be put in place
Photo by Aaron Kunz EarthFix

40 years ago Thursday, Congress passed the Clean Water Act to reduce pollution in America’s waterways. Even four decades later, hundreds of towns across the Northwest are failing to meet clean water standards for their wastewater treatment plants. For most, that means costly upgrades and higher fees for households and businesses. The southern Idaho town of Burley is no exception. EarthFix reporter Aaron Kunz explains.

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Northwest News
6:13 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Stormwater Called The "Single Largest Contributor To Urban Pollution

Close up of a storm drain.
Photo Credit: Ashley Ahearn

Human beings are really good at paving stuff. Such as parking lots and roads.  Our development patterns have very real effects on water quality.

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Clean Water Act
6:35 am
Thu September 13, 2012

Clean Water: The Next Act - Emerging Contaminants Feminizing Puget Sound Fish

At NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle Denis da Silva analyzes bile taken from English sole to detect endocrine disrupting chemicals like Bisphenol A and synthetic estrogens from birth control pills.
Photo by Ashley Ahearn EarthFix

When the Clean Water Act was created 40 years ago rivers were on fire and raw sewage was spilling into some waterways. The Act has accomplished a lot over the years - reining in the largest industrial polluters and improving water quality, overall.

But there are some emerging contaminants the Clean Water Act was never designed to control, and they are affecting the environment in new and different ways. Ashley Ahearn has the latest installment in our ongoing EarthFix series “Clean Water: The Next Act."

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Clean Water Act
6:32 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Clean Water Act: Agriculture Struggles With Temperature

A ranch in the Pahsimeroi Valley.
Photo by Aaron Kunz Northwest News Network

Farming is the single biggest reason rivers are failing to meet standards set by the Clean Water Act. EarthFix Reporter Aaron Kunz visited Idaho’s Pahsimeroi Valley for our series with Investigate West on this environmental law’s 40th anniversary. It turns out the problem isn’t so much what cattle ranchers and alfalfa growers are putting into the water – it’s what they’re taking out.

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Clean Water Act
5:46 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Case Could Hamstring WA’s Control of Runoff Pollution

Washington rancher Joe Lemire.
Photo by Courtney Flatt EarthFix

A small ranch in southeastern Washington is the site of some big disputes playing out between environmental regulators and farmers.

The question: How much control can the government have over pollution from agricultural runoff?

As part of EarthFix and Investigate West’s series on the 40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act, Courtney Flatt takes a look at a court case that could determine how strictly the state regulates polluted rainwater runoff.

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Duwamish River Pollution
6:05 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Clean Water: The Next Act - Seattle's Duwamish River Part II

The upper part of the Duwamish River, seen from 119th Street in Tukwila, Wash.
Photo by Joe Mabel Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

This fall marks the 40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act – a piece of legislation that changed the way waterbodies in this country are regulated and protected.

Pollution was supposed to be curtailed so that fish from all the waters in America would be safe for people to eat. 40 years later, though, many waterways still bear fish too tainted to consume safely.

One of the most polluted waterways in the Northwest is Seattle’s Duwamish River. We’re taking a look at the Duwamish as part of EarthFix’s series “Clean Water: The Next Act.”

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