Earthrise and NWEA Threaten Federal Lawsuit to Protect Puget Sound from Polluted Runoff
September 27, 2016
Earthrise attorney Allison LaPlante, along with Paul Kampmeier of Kampmeier & Knutsen, representing Northwest Environmental Advocates (NWEA) are threatening the EPA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with a lawsuit in 60 days over their failure to protect coastal threatened and endangered species in Washington State. Nina Bell, Executive Director of NWEA, asserted that it is a congressionally mandated requirement that the agencies use their power to “kick coastal states into high gear on protecting water quality. “
NWEA and Earthrise Law Center filed a similar lawsuit, focused on inadequate logging practices in Oregon, under the federal Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments (“CZARA”) in 2009. The case was settled in 2010 but Oregon reneged on its agreements. By 2013, the federal agencies had proposed to disapprove Oregon’s program. In January 2015 they had disapproved it, and in March 2016 they cut Oregon’s annual funding by $1.2 million. Oregon was the first state in the nation to have its coastal nonpoint program disapproved and to be fined.