Washington

Court affirms forest planning rule (News 5/2/15)

5/04/2015

A U.S. District judge is outlining her rationale for rejecting a challenge of a federal that requires the U.S. Forest Service to rely on science and conservation biology when developing forest plans.

Court Throws Out Industry Challenge to 2012 Forest Rules (Press Release 4/30/15)

4/30/2015
USFS Will Continue to Use Science and Conservation Biology in Forest Plans

In March 2015, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the D.C. District Court issued an order rejecting an extractive industry challenge to the Obama Administration’s National Forest Management Act 2012 Forest Planning Rule. The challenge alleged that the rule inappropriately requires the U.S. Forest Service to use science and conservation biology when creating new forest plans, which guide management on 191 million acres of national forests. On April 28, the judge issued her opinion setting forth the basis for her decision.

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

4/22/2015

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)

4/14/2015
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)

4/02/2015

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)

3/26/2015

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)

3/25/2015

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)

3/17/2015

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)

3/17/2015

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.

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