Clean Water Act enforcement has been a central focus for NEDC for decades. In recent years, a top priority for our litigation efforts has been protecting Pacific Northwest waters from stormwater pollution at industrial facilities. These stormwater “citizen suits” have resulted in significant upgrades in stormwater treatment systems across the state, reduced pollution in the region’s waters, and provided millions of dollars in funding for regional nonprofits to improve water quality.
This year, NEDC stormwater enforcement actions have helped fund major restoration projects on Portland’s Columbia Slough—an urban waterway with enormous potential for wildlife habitat and recreation. Over the coming year, the Columbia Slough Watershed Council will be using funds from two separate NEDC settlement agreements to undertake work designed to enhance habitat and improve water quality on the Slough. This work will include invasive species removal, protection of mature tree canopies, and native plant and tree installation. According to CSWC Stewardship Director Max Samuelson, “This support from NEDC will make a world of difference in the Columbia Slough by bringing critical habitat and water quality enhancements directly to the places in the watershed impacted by polluted stormwater runoff.” We’re thrilled to support this important work through our Clean Water Act litigation.