A federal appeals court on Aug. 23 turned down an environmental group's lawsuit that found fault with the Corps of Engineers' environmental analysis for a Columbia River dredging project. A panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Seattle, ruled 2-1 that "the Corps has taken the required hard look" at environmental and economic factors in analyzing the project's effects. Northwest Environmental Advocates, Portland, Ore., contended the Corps environmental impact statement and feasibility report were inadequate and violated the National Environmental Policy Act. But Judge Barry G. Silverman said the Corps did "exhaustive studies over numerous years, soliciting and accommodating input from stakeholders, and thoroughly re-analyzing areas of particular concern." Steve Mashuda, attorney with Earthjustice, the plaintiff's counsel, says no decision has been made yet on further legal action. The $151-million project would deepen 103.5 miles of the river to 43 feet, from 40 ft.
Corps: Court Rejects Challenge to Dredging Project
September 4, 2006