Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Play

Texas lawmakers consider legislation to prevent cities from self-governance, Connecticut considers policy options to alleviate an eviction crisis, and Ohio residents await community water systems.

Play

Gov. Ron DeSantis breaks his silence on Trump's potential indictment and attacks Manhattan prosecutors, President Biden vetoes his first bill to protect socially conscious retirement investing, and the Supreme Court hears a case on Native American water rights.

Play

The 41st state has opted into Medicaid which could be a lifeline for rural hospitals in North Carolina, homelessness barely rose in the past two years but the work required to hold the numbers increased, and destruction of the "Sagebrush Sea" from Oregon to Wyoming is putting protection efforts for an itty-bitty bunny on the map.

Seven Years On, Columbia River Benefits from Water Pollution Lawsuit

Play

Monday, December 27, 2021   

A fund created seven years ago in the wake of Clark County's violation of the Clean Water Act is helping improve salmon habitat and cleaning up stormwater in the Columbia River.

Clark County was sued more than a decade ago for approving weaker pollution regulations for entities like big box stores and subdivisions. After losing in court, the county agreed to one of the largest citizen-enforcement penalties in Washington state history: $3 million.

Jan Hasselman, a Seattle-based senior attorney for Earthjustice who worked on the case, said that money didn't go to Washington, DC.

"What we agreed instead was that the county would pay into a local fund for salmon habitat restoration," said Hasselman. "That fund is overseen by biologists and professionals that make sure the money addresses the most important problems."

The penalty helped create the Clark County Clean Water Restoration Fund, which, along with matching investments, funded 25 water restoration projects in the region.

Hasselman said stormwater is the number one source of water pollution in Washington state.

The Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board picked and distributed funds to projects. Denise Smee, program manager with the board, said they've implemented a variety of programs.

"We worked with partners for reducing oil leaks from automobiles, the don't drip and drive program," said Smee. "They worked with landowners and homeowners to facilitate repairs on stormwater facilities, failing septic systems."

The projects have led to the planting of more than 80,000 trees to improve stormwater quality. It's also supported K-12 education programs, providing classroom and field instructions for more than 7,700 students. Smee said those programs have had a big impact on students.

"It's always a huge increase in the kids' knowledge but also their interest in the subject matter," said Smee. "A lot of them, after these projects, are interested in going into natural resources or the environmental field or working with those kinds of positions and jobs."

Many of the projects to help clean up stormwater and improve salmon habitat will continue for the next several years.




get more stories like this via email
The VOTES Act also ensures the Commonwealth joins the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, a multi-state consortium which aims to keep voter registration rolls up to date, encourage voter registration and prevent voter fraud. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Voting rights advocates in Massachusetts are applauding Governor Maura Healey's budgetary backing of new policies stemming from last year's passage of…


Environment

Climate-change groups are calling attention to the environmental destruction linked to the wood pellet industry - even as California is considering a …

Social Issues

Many Nebraskans know how crucial a family caregiver is to one of their family members. Now AARP research has put a dollar value on that unpaid care - …


Going back generations, many Indigenous cultures developed strong ties with bison and relied upon them for sustenance, shelter, and cultural and religious practices. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

South Dakota is home to one of the nation's largest American Indian reservations, and the area is part of a movement among tribal nations to take …

Health and Wellness

As the cost of food, medicine and rent continues to climb, new data shows the benefits miners receive are now 40% less than what they received in 1969…

Stedman farmer Demi Tucker has been growing mushrooms on her family's land for the past few years. (Demi Tucker)

Environment

With the cost of farmland up by more than 8% percent in North Carolina, the state's Black farmers are struggling to purchase additional acreage or …

Social Issues

Republican-sponsored bills and amendments in the Legislature would eliminate the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth. More than 1.5-million …

Social Issues

Texas' GOP-dominated legislature is considering bills to flip the script on powers traditionally afforded home-rule cities, instead forcing them to …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021