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Commentaries and editorials

Lawsuit on Grand Coulee
Oil Pollution Settled

by Staff
Water Power Magazine, January 20, 2017

Columbia Riverkeeper has announced it has reached a settlement with the US Bureau of Reclamation designed to end toxic oil pollution from Grand Coulee Dam in the Pacific Northwest.

In 2014, Columbia Riverkeeper settled a similar lawsuit against the US Army Corps of Engineers aimed at oil pollution from eight dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers.

The new settlement requires USBR to join its federal partners at USACE to investigate replacing toxic oils at Grand Coulee with eco-friendly lubricants or switch to using non-lubricated equipment. USACE is currently testing eco-friendly oils, and if these tests are successful, it must switch to eco-friendly oil in eight of the US’ largest dams: Bonneville, The Dalles, McNary, Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose, and Lower Granite. Riverkeeper’s latest settlement builds on USACE’s investigation and could lead to similar changes at Grand Coulee Dam.

“For the first time in its long history, Grand Coulee Dam must reduce toxic pollution,” stated Brett VandenHeuvel, Executive Director of Columbia Riverkeeper. “People rely on the Columbia for clean water and strong salmon runs. Today’s settlement ensures the federal government does its part keep toxic pollution out of the Columbia.”

Related Pages:
Suit: Grand Coulee Dam Pollutes River by Scott Hunter, The Star 7/6/16
Group Sues to Force Pollution Disclosure at Washington Dam by Phuong Le, Tri-City Herald, 6/29/16



List of largest U.S. hydroelectric power stations

Name Year of completion Total Capacity (MW)
Grand Coulee 1942/1980 6,809
Bath County PSP 1985 3,003
Chief Joseph Dam 1958/73/79 2,620
Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant 1961 2,515
John Day Dam 1949 2,160
Hoover Dam 1936/1961 2,080
The Dalles Dam 1981 2,038


Staff
Lawsuit on Grand Coulee Oil Pollution Settled
Water Power Magazine, January 20, 2017

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