NEW YORK, August 8 (RIA Novosti) - A legal victory means the United States Army Corps of Engineers must stop polluting American rivers with cancer-causing chemicals, environmentalist Brett VandenHeuvel, director of Columbia Riverkeeper told RIA Novosti Thursday.
“For years, the Army Corps has allowed harmful oil pollution to flow into the Columbia and Snake Rivers, and finally that will stop. With the dams coming into compliance with clean water laws, we will see an end to toxic discharges and chronic seepage of pollutants that have harmed our communities,” VandenHeuvel said.
“In 2012, the Army Corps reported discharging over 1,500 gallons of PCB-laden transformer oil at the Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, PCBs cause cancer, as well as a variety of other adverse health effects on the immune system, reproductive system, nervous system, and endocrine system.”
Under this week’s legal settlement between Columbia Riverkeeper and the Army Corps, the latter must apply for permits, file more pollution reports, switch to environmentally-friendly lubricants and pay $143,500 of Columbia Riverkeeper’s legal fees.
Columbia Riverkeeper, a conservation group, said the Army Corps had breached the Clean Water Act with unmonitored oil discharges from its eight hydroelectric dams along the Columbia and Snake rivers in Oregon and Washington. The settlement was filed in US District Court in Portland.