What’s the Next Challenge Facing the Columbia River?

Get up to speed on the latest issues facing our communities thanks to “Locus Focus” on KBOO Radio, here’s four recent episodes interviewing our team.

Important stories uncovered thanks to investigative journalism

Liz Terhaar, Marketing and Communications Director

I’ve known journalist Barbara Bernstein for almost 10 years. What I admire most about Barbara is how she weaves her talents as a storyteller and activist, covering underreported issues and inspiring people to take action. When a new industrial proposal pops up on the Columbia River, Barbara’s often the first journalist to cover it, digging deep on why it matters and what people can do to help. 

Get up to speed on the latest issues facing our communities thanks to Barbara’s show “Locus Focus” on KBOO Radio. Check out four recent episodes featuring interviews from members of our team.

Pumped-Storage Hydro Development:

Protect Pushpum, mother of all roots

A massive pumped-storage development threatens to inundate a sacred area known as “Pushpum” by the Yakama Nation, which means the ‘mother of all roots.’ Excavation and construction of underground infrastructure would obliterate Tribal Cultural Properties and cultural resources of the Yakama Nation, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Nez Perce, and Warm Springs. Yet the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has given the green light for this project over the objections of Tribal Governments and dozens of climate and environmental advocacy groups.

Guests: Columbia Riverkeeper Hanford Program Director & Staff Attorney Simone Anter and Elaine Harvey with the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission talk about the next steps to halt this project. 

Hanford & Proposals for New Nuclear Infrastructure

The Hanford Nuclear Site is one of the most polluted places on the planet. Its legacy from nearly a half-century of plutonium production has left a toxic stew of radioactive and chemical waste that will remain hazardous for tens of thousands of years. But while the U.S. Department of Energy struggles to clean up this mess, there are plans afoot to build a new generation of nuclear power reactors at Hanford, known as small modular nuclear reactors.

Guests: Columbia Riverkeeper Policy Director Kelly Campbell and Hanford Program Director & Staff Attorney Simone Anter talk about Hanford and proposals to develop small modular nuclear reactors near the Columbia.

Non-Conventional Diesel Refinery Proposed in the Columbia River Estuary: 

Several years ago NEXT Energy (now NXT) proposed to build a renewable diesel refinery and rail yard at Port Westward, a spectacular point of land protruding into the Columbia River Estuary near the town of Clatskanie. The proposal was enthusiastically supported by the Port of Columbia County and some business interests in Clatskanie and vehemently opposed by farmers and other community members who saw this type of industrialization as totally incompatible with the region’s farmland and culture. For a while it looked like NXT’s effort was sputtering. But now things are heating up.

Guests: Columbia Riverkeeper Advocacy Director Dan Serres talks about how farmers and other community members are reaching out to the rest of Oregon to support their struggle to prevent NXT from displacing farming, degrading local water resources, and disrupting the communities of Port Westward and Clatskanie.Add content here!

Portland-based Fossil Fuel Company Zenith Energy’s Dangerous Plans to expand its Operations in Portland: 

What does that mean for us? More harmful pollution, more explosive trains through our communities, and continued handling of dangerous fuels. Zenith’s big plan is actually likely to bring more harm to the climate and marginalized communities.

Guests: Columbia Riverkeeper Senior Community Organizer Kate Murphy, and Mary Stites Staff Attorney at Northwest Environmental Defense Center talk about the risks Zenith creates in communities and the ecosystem.

Concerned about these issues? Make a difference by donating to Columbia Riverkeeper.

Thanks to a generous donor, you can double your impact: your gift will be matched dollar for dollar up to $10,000.