Court Rules for Government
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in a lawsuit brought by Northwest Environmental Advocates.
The environmental group had argued that the ongoing channel deepening project will lead to erosion of Oregon and Washington coasts as a result of sand from the Columbia River being dumped at nearby deep-water ocean sites.
As a result of the 2-1 decision, the only legal remedies left for environmental advocates are petitioning for a further appeal or asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. Nina Bell, executive director of Northwest Environmental Advocates, said her group had not decided on a course of action.
The suit was filed in June 2004.
Roughly 40 percent of the channel deepening project will have been completed by the end of the year. The 103-mile, $188 million project will deepen the Columbia River shipping channel from 40 to 43 feet, allowing larger ships to call local ports.
The Port of Portland estimates that local manufacturers and farmers will save $68 million annually on shipping costs after the project is complete.
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