Authored by Jason T. Morgan of Stoel Rives LLP

In Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association v. Washington Department of Ecology (pdf), the Washington Court of Appeals concluded that the Washington State Department of Ecology (“Ecology’) properly denied a petition for rulemaking under Washington’s Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) regarding water quality standards for the Columbia River.  This was the third petition by similarly situated petitioners seeking to force the Ecology to relax water quality standards on the Columbia River, with the goal that such relaxed standards would allow the federal agencies to spill more water over Columbia River dams for the intended benefit of migrating salmon.  The Court of Appeals confirmed that Ecology’s denial of the petition — which was informed, in part, by potential adverse consequences on aquatic organisms due to increased spill — was not arbitrary or capricious.
Continue Reading Court of Appeals Affirms Ecology’s Denial Of Petition For Rulemaking On Water Quality for Columbia River