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Columbia Riverkeeper files lawsuit against Weyerhaeuser

WASHINGTON (News release) -- The Columbia Riverkeeper filed a lawsuit accusing a timber company of violating stormwater quality laws at its Longview mill, the group said in a news release.

The Clean Water Act case alleges that Weyerhaeuser NR Company went against state and federal laws when it dumped too many pollutants into the Columbia River Basin, according to court documents from the case.

State and federal laws limit facilities' output of Biochemical Oxygen Demand, oil and grease, pH levels and settleable solids because these pollutants can bring unwanted debris and chemicals into local waterways, posing a "significant threat to sensitive salmon habitat," according to Riverkeeper's news release.

"This lawsuit is about protecting people that rely on clean water and strong salmon runs," Riverkeeper attorney Simone Anter said in the news release. "Plain and simple, Weyerhaeuser is polluting and this pollution impacts salmon. This should be taken seriously."

In February, the Washington state Department of Ecology fined the Weyerhaeuser mill in Longview $40,000 for water quality violations at the Columbia River and for failing to monitor two of its stormwater outfalls, according to a Feb. 17 news release.

The company had 30 days to pay the fine or to appeal with the Pollution Control Hearings Board, the department said in its news release.

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