Washington Water Watch 
July 2015

In This Issue
Leavenworth Hatchery Violating Clean Water Act
CELP Resigns From Icicle Work Group
Meet John Roskelley
CELP Litigation News in Brief
Water News
CELP in the News
Keep Our Rivers Flowing!
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High Temperatures in Rivers and Streams are Killing Fish
Sockeye Salmon - photo from Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
Dear friend, 

Washington is in the middle of a historic drought. It's dramatically affecting our rivers and streams, which are flowing at all-time record lows and experiencing record high water temperatures.  This is proving to be disastrous for fish. Salmon are dying in overheated rivers throughout Washington, and dead sturgeon have been seen in the Columbia River near the Tri-Cities. But impacts going forward could be even worse as snowpack declines, and glaciers melt due to climate change. Even with all that, the pressure to continue water giveaways is immense. 


CELP's work to protect Washington's water resources is urgent. Washington needs to adopt and implement a sustainable water management plan now to avoid the predicament that California is currently facing, and protect the ecosystems that rely on healthy stream flows. 

In this issue you will find a profile of one of our board members, John Roskelley, an article discussing why CELP has resigned from the Icicle Work Group, and an announcement that CELP has sent a 60-day Notice of Intent to sue to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA) associated with the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery, and more.


CELP continues to work tirelessly to protect Washington's freshwater resources and ensure wise and sustainable water management for future generations, but we can't do it alone. We rely on donations from our loyal supporters like you to be able to respond to threats like this year's drought. Please consider making a donation today on our secure website, www.celp.org.  


Best water wishes,




Trish Rolfe

Executive Director


PS. All donations to CELP are tax deductible. 

Icicle Creek -
photo by John Osborn
Leavenworth Hatchery Violating Clean Water Act

by John Osborn

On July 21st, CELP sent a 60-day Notice of Intent to sue to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and Daniel M. Ashe in his official capacity as the Director of FWS for violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA) associated with the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery.


FWS is discharging pollutants into Icicle Creek from the Hatchery without a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit which is in direct violation of section 301(a) of the CWA. FWS has not held a NPDES permit for the Hatchery since August 31, 1979.


"Federal law requires the Hatchery to operate in a manner that protects Icicle Creek and downstream waters from pollution," said Dan Von Seggern, staff attorney for CELP. "Compliance with the Clean Water Act will preserve these water resources while allowing the Hatchery to continue to augment salmon runs."


CELP and partners are represented by Kampmeier & Knutsen, PLLC of Portland, OR


Non-functioning Dam on Eightmile Lake - photo by Karl Forsgaard

New Participation Rules by State's Icicle Work Group End Collaboration, Prompt CELP to Resign


by Trish Rolfe


CELP resigned from the Washington State Department of Ecology-sponsored Icicle Work Group (IWG) on July 20th because of changes in its operating procedures that essentially eliminate the ability of CELP and other non-profits to meaningfully participate in this public process.


The new rules include changes to the decision making process  from consensus to majority rule, a prohibition on public disagreement, and a prohibition on members filing suit even if a another participant is breaking the law. These changes basically eliminate any dissenting opinions, and hamstring CELP and other participating groups from meaningfully impacting the water policy decisions made by the IWG.  


Read More Here.

John Roskelley near Mica Dam 
on Kinbasket Lake 
- Photo by Joyce Roskelley
Meet John Roskelley - CELP Board Member

By Kelly Mistry

Water advocate, legendary mountaineer, and author, John Roskelley has a long history of public service and joined the CELP board in the fall of 2014.  He has also served on the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board, the Growth Management Hearings Board, and as a Spokane County Commissioner. John's latest book is Paddling the Columbia: A guide to all 1,200 miles of our scenic and historical river.  John is especially interested in removing dams, restoring instream flows, and in restoring health to the Columbia River and its tributaries.

We asked John some questions about how he became passionate about protecting Washington's waters, and his connection to CELP. Here are a few of his answers:

What do you find most challenging about protecting water in Washington?


In my opinion, the most challenging aspect of protecting water in Washington is the blatant disregard for rules and regulations of the state by agricultural interests; the minor slaps on the wrist for industrial and municipality pollution; and the refusal of the DOE to enforce the law.

What's your personal philosophy on what should be done about water conservation?

It's a battle we have to win. There is no other option. We have to enlist everyone involved in water use and educate them to the seriousness of continuing along the path we've been on.

Why are you supporting CELP as opposed to other groups working on water conservation?

I support CELP because this environmental group has a hammer - litigation - and isn't afraid to use it frequently. Sometimes there is no other option to overcoming political pandering; corporate greed; and just plain ignorance than a good old fashioned lawsuit.


CELP Litigation News in Brief

Supreme Court Accepts Review of Hirst v. Whatcom County

On July 8, the Washington Supreme Court accepted review of the Hirst petition for review and scheduled oral argument for October 20, 2015. The Hirst case presents an important opportunity for the Court to advance integration of land use and water resource laws. CELP filed an amicus brief urging the Court to accept review and overturn a Court of Appeals decision that found that, because exempt wells are not explicitly addressed in the Nooksack River instream flow rule, therefore they cannot be regulated under the Growth Management Act.

EPA Proposes to Adopt Spokane River PCB Plan in 2030

On March 16, the U.S. District Court in Seattle ruled in favor of CELP and co-plaintiff Sierra Club that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has failed in its duty to adopt a Clean Water Act clean-up plan addressing PCBs in the Spokane River. The Court ordered EPA to submit a schedule to adopt a clean-up plan by July 14. EPA's July 14 submittal fails to explain how PCBs will be removed absent a clean-up plan, and proposes a schedule for adoption of the clean-up plan as late as 2030.

CELP Intervenes in Dungeness Rule Challenge

In early July, Thurston County Court formally accepted CELP's motion to intervene in the matter of Bassett v. Department of Ecology, a challenge to the validity of the Dungeness Instream Flow rule, adopted in early 2013. CELP is intervening in support of the rule, and to oppose various arguments, including that the rule fails to allow for unmitigated future water supply and that Ecology is not authorized to adopt instream flows that are fully protective of fish, wildlife, and other instream values. For more information, see our article in the June edition of Washington Water Watch.

Water News


CELP and Sierra Club Launch H2KNOW Campaign in Spokane


On August 5, CELP and Sierra Club's Upper Columbia River Group will launch a community outreach effort encouraging people to conserve water to help save the Spokane River.


Drought east of the Cascade Crest is strengthening its grip (see: Seven Ways Drought is impacting the Inland Northwest.) In times of drought we must all do our part to conserve water. For the 500,000 people in the Spokane-Coeur d'Alene Basin, curtailing water waste is especially important to help our struggling Spokane River -- and the fish, wildlife, and people who depend on and love the river.


For more on this community outreach effort to conserve water, visit H2KNOW.info.


A special thanks to Jim Hedemark, Tom Fox and John Roskelley for their efforts in supporting this community effort.

CELP in the News

Thanks for taking the time to read Washington Water Watch!  Thanks to your help, CELP has accomplished much but, as you can see, more needs to be done. You can support our work by making a donation online here, or mailing a check to 911 Western Ave #305, Seattle, WA 98104 

CELP's mission is to protect and restore Washington's rivers and aquifers through science-based management of and advocacy for our waters.  CELP works through public education, grassroots assistance, agency advocacy, legislative reform, and public interest litigation.


If you care about a future with water, please become a CELP member today!

You can reach us at: 206-829-8299 or email us.