December 03, 2018

Court Orders Oregon DEQ to Issue Timely Permits

Earthrise, on behalf of several clients, has settled a case which will require the Department of Environmental Quality to act on almost 150 expired Clean Water Act discharge permits.

On behalf of our clients Northwest Environmental Advocates, Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC), and Bill Bakke, Earthrise has secured a court order requiring Oregon DEQ to finally act on almost 150 expired Clean Water Act discharge permits in the State. 

Despite its green image, Oregon has the largest backlog of major individual Clean Water Act permits in the United States. The Permits covered by the court order have been administratively extended for more than five years (meaning that the permits are at least 10 years old), and 13 of the permits are more than 20 years old. These “Zombie Permits” have not been updated to incorporate new water quality standards intended to protect human health and aquatic life. DEQ has also committed to making its water quality program more transparent and to taking steps to address the underlying causes of the backlog. Click here to read more about this victory for the environment and to get a copy of the court order.

Earthrise attorneys Lia Comerford and Allison LaPlante and Karl Anuta of the Law Office of Karl Anuta represented the Petitioners in this case.