March marks one year since the EPA prioritized toxic-pollution cleanup at Bradford Island, designating the area a Superfund Site.
People Deserve Healthy Fish, Clean Water
This month marks one year since the EPA prioritized toxic-pollution cleanup at Bradford Island and surrounding waters of the Columbia River, designating the area a Superfund Site. That decision, spurred by years of advocacy from tribes and river communities, was a huge political lift because the polluter, and entity responsible for cleanup, is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“This is a day filled with hope for communities along the Columbia River,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in announcing the decision.
Hope is turning to anger. First, the Corps is dragging its feet, failing to execute the key agreement needed to develop cleanup plans. Second, the Corps has attempted to shut out tribal nations from the government decision making process. In so doing, the Corps ignores treaty rights and tribal nations cultural and technical expertise.
Public health is on the line: the area is one of the most popular subsistence and recreational fishing sites in the Mid-Columbia. Yet resident fish, like bass and sturgeon, caught in the vicinity contain some of the highest levels of toxic pollution in the Pacific Northwest. Columbia Riverkeeper is calling on EPA and Northwest elected officials to hold the Corps accountable for cleanup.
People rely on clean water and toxic-free fish. That’s why Columbia Riverkeeper uses the law and grassroots organizing to advocate for cleanup at polluted sites like Bradford Island and surrounding waters.