Ecology meeting will discuss water quality permits for Whatcom farms with many animals (Bellingham Herald 4/22/15)


The public can weigh in on Thursday, April 23, as part of the Washington state Department of Ecology’s update of a permit for facilities that confine large numbers of livestock, poultry or other animals.

The update is for what is known as the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation General Permit.

Tribe Urges Better Regulation for Dairy Farms (NWIFC News 4/14/15)

The Lummi Nation was forced to close hundreds of acres to shellfish harvest because the region’s dairy farms discharge manure into the Nooksack River, which feeds Portage Bay

Whatcom County’s booming dairy and agricultural industry has cost Lummi Nation shellfish harvesters millions of dollars already, and a recent closure of shellfish beds in Portage Bay is adding to the tally.

Uncertainty remains about water availability for proposed hydro project (Press Release 4/2/15)


River advocacy groups will return to the courtroom on Friday, April 3, to challenge a decision that could reduce Similkameen Falls in Northeastern Washington to a trickle. The Falls, located on the Similkameen River just downstream of the abandoned Enloe Dam, are a popular scenic attraction and have important cultural and ecological values. Okanogan Public Utility District is currently seeking to re-energize Enloe Dam, although uncertainties surrounding the amount of water available for the project raise questions about its future costs and viability. 

EPA acts to protect Puget Sound shellfish beds from manure runoff, fines Lynden dairy (EPA Press Release 3/26/15)


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a compliance order and $7,500 penalty to R. Bajema Farm for violations of the Clean Water Act. During a 2013 inspection of the Lynden, Washington dairy farm, EPA staff observed the discharge of water polluted with animal waste to a ditch that flows into Fishtrap Creek and the Nooksack River, which empties into North Puget Sound near shellfish beds.

Pollution partially closes nearly 500 acres of Portage Bay shellfish beds (Bellingham Herald 3/25/15)


Commercial shellfish harvesting is being banned on nearly 500 acres of Portage Bay for about half the year because of worsening water quality caused by fecal coliform bacteria, the Washington state Department of Health announced Tuesday, March 24.

Washington Youth’s Climate Case Moves Forward (Press Release 3/17/15)


Today, eight young citizens of Washington state filed their opening brief in their climate change case, Zoe & Stella Foster v. Washington Department of Ecology, to King County Superior Court.

State to update pollution permit for some livestock farms (Yakima Herald Republic 3/17/15)


The state is setting out to update its water quality permit for large livestock operations.

In Yakima this week, the Department of Ecology is meeting with industry representatives to discuss potential updates to the waste discharge permit. It’s an early step in a long process, Ecology spokeswoman Sandy Howard said.

Lawsuits Challenge USDA's Wildlife Services' Killing of Wolves, Other Animals (News 3/6/15)


The second lawsuit in three weeks has been filed against the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Wildlife Services program over the federally sanctioned killing of wolves and other wildlife.

Got Milk? Got Manure! (News 3/3/15)


Andrea Rodgers is an attorney with the Western Environmental Law Center and is based in Seattle, Washington. Charlie Tebbutt is an attorney based in Eugene, Oregon, with his own law practice, the Law Offices of Charles M. Tebbutt, P.C.

Image for this story: CAFO Lagoons in Whatcom County

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