Columbia River

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon House has signed off on what's shaping up to be the most expensive single public works project in the state's history. Lawmakers voted Monday to approve $450 million for a new Interstate 5 bridge across the Columbia River.

The new bridge would replace a pair of aging, congestion-prone spans between Portland and Vancouver, Washington. If all goes according to plan, Oregon's portion of the funding would be matched by a similar amount from state lawmakers in Olympia, along with federal cash and money from drivers in the form of tolls.

Governor John Kitzhaber signed a plan that will move several eastern Oregon water projects one step forward.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – In her final state of the state speech, outgoing Washington Governor Chris Gregoire urged lawmakers to fund schools and roads. The two-term Democrat delivered her farewell address Tuesday to a joint session of the legislature.

Gregoire told the assembled legislators they should come up with an additional $1 billion for schools in the next budget to comply with a state Supreme Court ruling.

“There is no free lunch," the governor said. "We cannot cut our way out of this. We cannot save our way out of this.”

Canadian Smelter Found Liable For U.S. Pollution

Dec 14, 2012
kootenayvolcano / Flickr

A federal judge Friday found a Canadian smelter responsible for the millions of tons of pollutants it dumped into the Columbia River.

There’s not enough water in eastern Oregon for farmers and fish. Gov. John Kitzhaber designated one basin as a place to try a possible solution to this problem. At the Oregon Leadership Summit Monday, farmers and environmentalists talked about what’s being done.

Colin Fogarty

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is stepping up the pressure on state lawmakers to make funding a new I-5 bridge over the Columbia River a top priority. The Democrat made his case for a new span between Portland and Vancouver at a gathering of business leaders Monday.

Photo courtesy Teck Resources, Ltd.

A case involving cross border pollution of the Columbia River rests in the hands of a federal judge today. A Native American tribe and the state of Washington have sued to hold a Canadian mining giant responsible for smelter waste that washed downriver from British Columbia into Washington. Correspondent Tom Banse reports on the latest go-around in U.S. District Court in Yakima.

kootenayvolcano / Flickr

Wednesday, a federal judge in Yakima will consider a long-running case about cross border pollution in the Columbia River. The Colville Tribes and the state of Washington are trying to force cleanup of heavy metals dumped in the river for nearly a hundred years by a Canadian smelter.

Just as Washington environmental regulators finish up a series of meetings on oil spill readiness, a half-mile sheen appeared on the Columbia River near Longview. Contractors quickly contained the diesel spill this week. It's one of about 1,800 spills in Oregon and Washington each year.

President Obama has announced that the Columbia River Crossing -- and three other infrastructure projects around the nation -- will be expedited.

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