August 16, 2013
Local citizens, conservation groups call for better economic analysis, environmental review
Sam Mace, Inland NW Director, Save Our Wild Salmon 509-863-5696
Kevin Lewis, Conservation Director, Idaho Rivers United, 208-343-7481
Linwood Laughy, 208-926-7875
Local citizens and conservation groups applaud the announcement that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has delayed a controversial proposal to dredge behind Lower Granite dam including the shipping channel and ports of Lewiston and Clarkston.
The Corps originally wanted to begin dredging this winter but now admits that their proposal needs more thorough environmental review. For the past several months citizens, conservation groups and the Nez Perce Tribe have raised serious concerns about the impacts on endangered wild salmon and economic costs of the Corps’ dredging plans, and the Corps failure to provide adequate analysis of either.
“We’re glad the Army Corps has delayed its ill-advised rush to dredge this coming winter,” said SOS Inland Northwest Director Sam Mace. “We look forward to working with the Corps and others to now take a harder look at whether the dredging plans make sense for salmon or taxpayers.”
“The Corps needs to take this opportunity to complete an honest cost-benefit analysis of dredging the lower Snake River and seriously ask whether the perpetual dredging is the best solution to the growing flood risk sediment is causing for Lewiston, ID and Clarkston, WA,” said Linwood Laughy, local resident and author of Five Myths of Freight Transportation on the Lower Snake River. “The agency also needs to address the immense taxpayer costs associated with maintaining the lower Snake waterway.”
“Our calls for further scrutiny have helped postpone this ill-conceived dredging plan,” said Kevin Lewis, Conservation Director for Idaho Rivers United. “The American taxpayer expects and deserves a transparent and honest assessment of further subsidizing obsolete forms of shipping.”
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