Environmental Nonprofit Fights for Clean Water

“This lawsuit is about protecting people that rely on clean water and strong salmon runs,” -Simone Anter, Staff Attorney, Columbia Riverkeeper


Environmental Nonprofit Fights for Clean Water, Suing Timber Giant Weyerhaeuser for Breaking the Law

Longview, WA (March 28, 2022)—Earlier this month Columbia Riverkeeper filed a Clean Water Act case against Weyerhaeuser NR Company (Weyerhaeuser) for stormwater quality violations at its Longview mill.

“This lawsuit is about protecting people that rely on clean water and strong salmon runs,” said Simone Anter, staff attorney at Columbia Riverkeeper. “Plain and simple, Weyerhaeuser is polluting and this pollution impacts salmon. This should be taken seriously.”

Weyerhaeuser violated the federal Clean Water Act and state laws that restrict how much pollution industrial facilities release to local waterways including numeric effluent limits on Biochemical Oxygen Demand, oil and grease, turbidity, pH levels and settleable solids. These pollutants pose a significant threat to sensitive salmon habitat. 

“Polluting the Columbia River and tributaries harms a vital economic natural resource of our communities,” said Diane Dick, Longview community member. “Weyerhaeuser violated the law, they should be held accountable.”

The Columbia River basin accumulates pollution from industry, wastewater treatment plants, and runoff from agricultural lands, logging, industrial sites, and city streets. As a result, the Columbia River and many tributaries are severely degraded by pollution. Toxic pollution threatens the health of people that eat local fish and jeopardizes the public’s right to eat fish caught locally. Rising water temperatures also threaten the health of salmon and other aquatic life that rely on cool water for survival. Columbia Riverkeeper’s Staff Attorney Simone Anter and Kampmeier & Knutsen represent Columbia Riverkeeper in the case.

About the Clean Water Act

The objective of the Clean Water Act, enacted in 1972, “is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters.” The Clean Water Act requires facilities that discharge wastewater into rivers or lakes to have permits limiting pollution. The Clean Water Act also empowers individuals and organizations to enforce those permits and protect the public’s right to clean, safe rivers.

About Columbia Riverkeeper

Columbia Riverkeeper’s mission is to restore and protect the water quality of the Columbia River and all life connected to it, from the headwaters to the Pacific Ocean. Columbia Riverkeeper is a non-profit organization with over 16,000 members who live, work, and recreate throughout the Columbia River Basin. 

About Stopping Pollution

Columbia Riverkeeper cracks down on illegal pollution by enforcing the Clean Water Act. Our top priority: Stop the pollution. Our second goal: Deter industry from violating the law in the first place. How?