Washington

Environmental groups challenge Ecology’s new permits for industrial dairies (News Release 2/21/17)

2/21/2017

On Feb. 17, 2017, a coalition of environmental groups filed an appeal with the Washington state Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB) challenging the Department of Ecology’s waste discharge permits for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).  

What’s at stake if Congress cuts methane regs

1/31/2017

In the 1880s, farmers on Colorado’s Front Range got fired up about— what else? Water. Their irrigation water came from Clear Creek, a stream that gets its start up on the Continental Divide, then tumbles through mining country before spilling onto the plains west of Denver. Along the way, mills that processed the ore from numerous mines dumped their tailings — sludge loaded with toxic metals and acid-forming sulfides — directly into the stream.

Ecology's CAFO Water Quality Permit Sacrifices Public Health, Drinking Water, Shellfish Beds (News Release 1/19/17)

1/19/2017

Today, a coalition environmental, public health, social justice and public interest advocates and organizations representing tens of thousands of Washingtonians responded to the Washington State Department of Ecology’s issuance of a revised concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) general discharge permit, five years after the former permit expired.

Judge: Seattle kids can move ahead with climate rights case

12/20/2016

SEATTLE (AP) — Eight Seattle children should have “their day in court” to argue that Washington state and others aren’t protecting them from climate change, a judge ruled.

King County Superior Court Judge Hollis Hill on Monday allowed the young petitioners to move ahead in their case against the state, writing that “it is time for these youth to have the opportunity to address their concerns in a court of law, concerns raised under statute and under the state and federal constitutions.”

Judge allows youth constitutional climate rights case to move forward against state of WA and Gov. Inslee (News Release 12/20/16)

12/20/2016

Judge Hollis Hill ruled Monday that the youths who sued the Department of Ecology for failing to take action on climate change can again move forward, now with a constitutional climate rights claim that adds the state of Washington and Gov. Jay Inslee as defendants.

Washington state lists Canada lynx as endangered Rare Cats (News Release 12/14/16)

12/14/2016

Late last week, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission voted unanimously to list Canada lynx as “endangered” under the state equivalent of the Endangered Species Act. This move comes as estimates for the state population of lynx fall to an estimated 54 individuals. The Canada lynx was previously listed as “threatened,” however population declines and habitat degradation have led the species to the brink of extirpation in Washington.

WA industrial dairy installs court-ordered manure lagoon liners to protect groundwater (News Release 12/12/16)

12/12/2016
Department of Ecology poised to allow continued industrial ag pollution throughout state with new permit

Last week, Cow Palace Dairy, a large Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) in Zillah, Wash., began installation of state-of-the-art synthetic liners for the facility’s earthen manure storage lagoons to prevent ongoing leakage of contaminants to groundwater. This comes as the Washington State Department of Ecology is set to finalize a CAFO General Permit that forgoes this proven, cost-effective protective measure in favor of knowingly contaminating drinking water for thousands of Washingtonians.

Public Health and Environmental Groups Move to Defend Standards to Reduce Waste of Natural Gas on Public Lands (News Release 12/2/16)

12/02/2016
Groups Seek to Join Lawsuit to Oppose Challenges to the Standards

Fifteen national, regional, tribal and local public health and environmental groups representing millions of Americans took legal steps today to defend new standards that will reduce natural gas waste on public and tribal lands, protect public health, and guard against climate change.

Washington state youth sue government over climate change

11/23/2016

SEATTLE (AP) -- Eight children asked a judge to find Washington in contempt for failing to adequately protect them and future generations from the harmful effects of climate change, part of a nationwide effort by young people to try to force action on global warming.

The petitioners, between 12 and 16 years old, asked a state judge Tuesday to step in and require the state Department of Ecology to come up with science-based numeric emissions reductions.

BNSF to study coal covers under tentative lawsuit agreement

11/15/2016

BNSF Railway will study the use of physical covers for coal and petroleum coke trains as part of a tentative agreement reached Tuesday with environmental groups that sued alleging that coal spilled from trains pollutes waterways in Washington state.

BNSF denied any violations of federal environmental laws, but also agreed to pay $1 million in environmental projects in the state and to clean up certain hotspots where coal has accumulated along tracks near waterways.

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