Our Land Use Program has increased its capacity to handle numerous important cases at once,
and has won a string of victories.
| Sep 27 2012 Action Taken to Protect Coos Bay Slough|
Debris slide affecting Coalbank Slough. Photo courtesy of Coos Waterkeeper. Oregon Shores has partnered with Coos Waterkeeper and a local Coos Bay resident on a Clean Water Act enforcement action in defense of Coalbank Slough in Coos Bay. The slough, an offshoot of the Coos Bay estuary, provides habitat for fish and aquatic organisms, including salmonid fish species that are listed on the federal Endangered Species List. Coalbank Slough is also designated as a critical habitat for threatened Oregon Coast coho salmon and the Southern Distinct Population Segment of North American green sturgeon.
Last spring, Johnson Rock Products dumped large amounts (approximately 25,000 cubic yards) of soil and other construction and excavation debris from the Bay Area Hospital expansion project on a sloped property near the slough. In early April, the soil and debris collapsed down the hill, creating a landslide across another landowner’s property and into the slough. The volume of material in the slough is sufficient to change the tidal flows, and the remaining material on the slope remains unstable, creating a substantial risk that further landslides will occur.
The federal Clean Water Act and Oregon law both prohibit placing material like soil and excavation debris in waters such as Coalbank Slough without a permit. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality sent an enforcement letter to the landowner and the company responsible for the landfill, asking them to create a plan to stabilize the hillside and clean up the slough. Oregon Shores, Coos Waterkeeper affected landowner Mike Martin are very concerned that if the bank is not stabilized before winter rains start, even more material could end up in the slough, affecting the water quality of the estuary and the marine habitat it provides.
Our Coastal Law Project, a partnership with the Crag Law Center, represented all the concerned parties in sending a 60-day notice of intent to sue pursuant to the citizen suit provision of the Clean Water Act. This letter will ensure that Oregon Shores can take legal action if necessary. The action will also provide additional leverage for DEQ to pursue its enforcement and allow for public engagement on the enforcement action. Now is the critical time to ensure the responsible parties take action to clean up the mess and prevent further degradation of the water quality and habitat in Coalbank Slough.
Articles on topic 'Estuaries':
Sep 27 2012 Action Taken to Protect Coos Bay Slough
Jan 11 2012 Climate Project Reschedules Wetlands Talk for January 26
Dec 24 2009 Lecture Offered on Birds of Columbia Estuary
Contact: Phillip Johnson, Executive Director, (503) 238-4450, or EMAIL
| May 21 NEW Appeal Seeks to Hold Coos County Accountable|
Oregon Shores is an active member of the coalition battling to keep an LNG export facility from being sited in a tsunami and storm surge zone on Coos Bay’s North Spit. Our role within the coalition is to handle land use planning issues and state regulatory processes. In this role, we are appealing a decision by the Coos County planning director. Although made under pressure from the would-be ...
| May 20 NEW Oregon Shores Plans Appeal of Crook Point Proposal|
Last year, Oregon's Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) agreed with Oregon Shores that Curry County's approval of a proposed resort development at Crook Point violated land use laws and the county's own comprehensive plan. LUBA found in our favor on all three points of our appeal, and "remanded" the case back to the county. Curry County took many months to reconsider, but in March the county ...