Washington Water Watch 
May 2017

In This Issue
Celebrate Water
Victory on Icicle Creek!
Court Refuses to Hear Culvert Case Appeal
Update on Ethics and Treaty Project
Meet CELP's Summer Intern!
Keep Our Rivers Flowing!
Help ensure clean and flowing waters in Washington State by making a gift to CELP!

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Upcoming Events
June 8
12:30-6:00 pm
King County Bar Association Environmental & Land Use Section
CLE: Cleaning Up Water, Air, and Dirt: Litigation and Policy Updates
More info on registration here.
June 15
Celebrate Water
5:30-7:30 pm Reception
4:00-5:00 pm CLE
Ivar's Salmon House
 CELP's annual fundraising event will be held on Thursday, June 15th. This year we will be honoring John Osborn with the Ralph W Johnson Water Hero Award. Don't miss a pre-reception CLE on Mitigation of Domestic Water Use with Larry Wasserman from the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and CELP's Dan Von Seggern!
Buy tickets here.
August 12 or 13
Paddle the Hanford Reach 
CELP Board Member and acclaimed mountaineer and paddler John Roskelley, will be guiding two kayaking trips of the Hanford Reach section of the Columbia River. 
Buy tickets here.

The original May trip dates for this event were rescheduled to August 12th and 13th due to unsafe weather conditions on the Columbia. 
Celebrate Water with CELP!

Dear Members of CELP -

Summer is finally here, and with it warmer and dryer days. After record breaking rainfall this spring, everyone in the Puget Sound region is enjoying this glorious weather. Whether it's rafting, kayaking, or fly-fishing for that prized rainbow, recreating on our rivers play a large role in why we live in the Northwest.
Western Washington's heavy rainfall this year has set us up for abundant water supplies in our rivers and streams in late spring and summer, but impacts from climate change over the next decade could change those patterns, bringing more water in the winter months when it is more likely to cause flooding, and less in the spring and fall when fish need it most.
That's why CELP's work for the sustainable management of Washington's water resources is so important, and urgent. But we can't do it alone; we need the support of Washington residents like you who understand that protecting our rivers and streams will help everyone in Washington.

Buffalo Eddy on the Spokane River - photo by Julie Titone
In this issue, you'll find information about our recent Federal court victory in our Leavenworth Hatchery case, a recap of the Ethics & Treaty Conference in Revelstoke, B. C., a brief overview of the most recent 9th Circuit decision in the Culvert case, an introduction to our new summer intern, a bio of Dr. John Osborn, this year's Ralph Johnson Water Hero awardee, upcoming events, and more.
Finally, on May 10th CELP once again participated in the Seattle Foundation's "GiveBig" campaign. CELP raised over $5000. Thank you to all the donors who participated! We can't do our work without you! 

Trish Rolfe
Executive Director

PS. Join us for our Annual Celebrate Waters Event at Ivar's Salmon House on June 15th . For more information or to purchase tickets visit our website,  www.celp.org.

Join CELP at Celebrate Water on June 15th!

On June 15th , CELP will host its annual Celebrate Water event to commemorate another successful year of CELP's work in Washington State and present the  Ralph W. Johnson Water Hero Award to Dr. John Osborn. 

June 15th 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Ivar's Salmon House
401 NE Northlake Way
 Seattle, WA 98105

Pre-reception CLE: 4:00 - 5:00 pm 
Mitigation of Domestic Water Use: Requirements and Practical Experience

  • Larry Wasserman, Environmental Policy Director, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
  • Dan Von Seggern, Staff Attorney, CELP

Honoring Dr. John Osborn

Dr.  John Osborn is a legendary environmental leader of the Pacific Northwest, whose car eer as an advocate for the waters and forests of our region spans more than three 
decad es. He founded the Inland Empire Public Lands Council and established Sierra Club's Upper Columbia River Group. He edited and published 80 issues of Transitions between 1988 and 2000 - a journal documenting the end of the timber, water and mining frontiers. He worked to stop the plundering of national forests in northern Idaho, to expand the 
design ation of the Bunker Hill silver mining and smelting Superfund site in the Coeur d'Alene basin, and to reform the consequences of the Northern Pacific Railroad land grant. He served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations including Washington Wilderness Coalition, Idaho Conservation League and, of course, CELP.    

In the field of medicine, he has taken care of our nation's veterans at the VA Medical Center in Spokane since 1985, and from the mid-1980s staffed its HIV/AIDS program. He has had a particular interest in medical ethics, and co-founded the Regional Ethics Network of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho (RENEW), which successfully advocated adoption and use of the POLST end-of-life form in Washington. His current efforts include co-coordinating the Ethics & Treaty Project, which seeks to infuse principles of stewardship and justice into the re-negotiatio n of the Columbia River Treaty. He also serves on the board of the LiveWilder Foundation, dedicated to preventing teen suicide in Idaho.

Read more about John Osborn's life and environmental work:

Thank you to our 2017 Celebrate Water Sponsors: Anne Johnson, Columbia Institute for Water Policy, Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team, Jim & Nancy Soriano, Kampmeier & Knutsen PLLC, Norm's Eatery & Ale House, Okanagan Nation Alliance, Osborn Family, Sierra Club South Sound Group, Sierra Club Upper Columbia River Group, Smith & Lowney PLLC, The Law Offices of M. Patrick Williams, Thomas Soeldner & Linda Finney, Todd Wildermuth & Sanne Knudsen, and Wright Yachts.

CELP Wins Leavenworth Fish Hatchery Clean Water Act Case

by John Osborn

On May 3, U.S. District Court Judge Salvador Mendoza Jr. issued an  injunction against the federal fish hatchery at Leavenworth, WA, after  ruling in January that the hatchery was unlawfully discharging pollutants to Icicle Creek and the Wenatchee River.  The federal facility, funded by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has been unlawfully discharging without the required permit since 1979.

"This is an important victory for Icicle Creek," said Dan Von Seggern, staff attorney for the Center for Environmental Law & Policy. "The Leavenworth Hatchery is dilapidated and old, with decades of deferred maintenance that needs serious upgrades. This is unacceptable under the Clean Water Act and harms the public's interest in Icicle Creek. The court's Order will result in state-of-the-art upgrades at the hatchery resulting in decreased water use and improved treatment. The result will be cleaner water and higher flows in the stream."

Judge Mendoza's January ruled confirmed the violation of the federal Clean Water Act. The May 3 injunction requires the hatchery to begin monitoring and reporting its phosphorus discharges by January 2018, and to reduce the amount of phosphorus it discharges by September 1, 2019, to the amount necessary for Icicle Creek to meet water quality standards designed to support salmon and other fish. The Court's injunction leaves open the opportunity for the Hatchery to obtain a new discharge permit, called an "NPDES" permit, from EPA, in which case that permit would set the schedule for the Hatchery to reduce its phosphorus discharges and the injunctive requirements would terminate. Either way, the Hatchery will be forced to undertake long-delayed upgrades, including wastewater treatment technology, to protect Icicle Creek.

Read more here.

Poorly maintained or designed culverts can block salmon passage upstream
Court Refuses to Hear Appeal of Culvert Case

In a huge win for salmon, on May 19th a panel of judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to hear Washington State's appeal of a 2016 decision that gave the state 15 years to fix salmon habitat-blocking culverts. Last year's decision affirmed a 2013 decision by Judge Ricardo Martinez ruling that poorly maintained culverts violate treaty rights by diminishing salmon runs.

The U.S. government first filed what has come to be known as the "culvert case" on behalf of 21 tribes in 2001. There are currently more than 800 state owned culverts blocking over 1,000 miles of salmon habitat. Fixing them will cost the state an estimated $2 billion. 

Read the full May 19th ruling here.

Free-flowing Columbia River, at Revelstoke B.C. - site of the 4th in the series of international conferences, "One River - Ethics Matter"
Revelstoke, B.C. Hosts 4th Annual 
One River - Ethics Matter Conference

by John Osborn

"The River is sacred.  People will put aside their differences when it comes to the River and bringing back the salmon."
- the late Virgil Seymour (1958 - 2016), Arrow Lakes (Sinixt) Facilitator for The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

The May 13 "One River - Ethics Matter" conference opened with a welcome and call from Revelstoke's Mayor, Mark McKee, for all people to work together on behalf of the Columbia River. The day was truly remarkable for bringing together Upper Columbia River Basin's First Nations, religious leaders, and community leaders and volunteers in respectful dialogue on the past and future of the Columbia River.

Some of the more memorable messages:
  • We do this work - returning the salmon and restoring the waters of the Upper Columbia - for our kids.
  • Indigenous people have been here from time immemorial, and we'll continue to be here forever.
  • Churches and houses of worship are also symbols of community - and destroying or moving churches with the Treaty dams underscored the wrenching impacts on the people of the Upper Columbia.
  • Indigenous language carries meaning that is deeply important.
  • Public schools have made major advances in environmental education.
  • All of us need more water rituals in our daily lives.
  • We all need to work together for the River and return of salmon.
First Nation and tribal leadership included Bonnie Leonard (Secwepemc), Sandra Luke (Ktunaxa), Chief Chad Eneas and Rosalie Wilson-Yazzie (Okanagan Nation Alliance), and D.R. Michel (Sinixt, Upper Columbia United Tribes), along with policy experts Bill Green (Canadian Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fisheries Commission) and Jay Johnson (Okanagan Nation Alliance).

Faith leadership included Anglican Archbishop John Privett, Roman Catholic Bishop John Corriveau, and Rev. Greg Powell of the Kootenay Presbytery.

Scholars and educators included Jeannette Armstrong (En'owkin Centre, Syilx scholar), Angus Graeme (President, Selkirk College), and Ariel McDowell (Principal of Aboriginal Education, School District 19).

Read more here.

Maggie at Murtle Falls
Meet CELP's Summer Legal Intern!
Maggie Franquemont grew up along Colorado's Front Range and let her love of the outdoors take her to Bozeman, MT where she earned her BS in Land Rehabilitation from Montana State University. Working for the national parks inspired her to return to school to pursue her JD from the University of Oregon where she is beginning her final year. Maggie hopes to focus on water law and encouraging interdisciplinary work so that she can fight our planet's environmental problems on a united front across many interests. In addition to skiing and climbing Maggie also enjoys biking and kayaking across the Pacific Northwest. Her favorite dinosaur is the Stegosaurus.

Call for Abstracts!

River Restoration Northwest is gearing up for the 16th Annual Stream Restoration Symposium at Skamania Lodge in Stevenson Washington February 6-8, 2018. They have issued a call for Session Proposals and Oral/Poster Abstracts. See more details and information on how to submit here.

Thanks for taking the time to read Washington Water Watch!  Thanks to your help, CELP has accomplished much but, as you can see, more needs to be done. You can support our work by making a donation online here, or mailing a check to: 

85 S Washington St #301, Seattle, WA 98104 

The Center for Environmental Law & Policy is a statewide organization whose mission is to protect, preserve and restore Washington's waters through education, policy reform, agency advocacy, and public interest litigation.

If you care about a future with water, please become a CELP member today!
You can reach us at:  206-829-8299 or  email us .