• Riverkeeper Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Lighting of Empire State Building

    Riverkeeper_logoWe congratulate our good friends at Riverkeeper.org on celebrating 50 years as New York’s clean water advocate protecting New York’s drinking water, the Hudson River and its tributaries!

    Commemorating the event, the Empire State Building will shine in Riverkeeper’s colors of deep blue, green, and light blue, this Wednesday evening, April 13.

    Here is a brief history of this pioneering organization, from their grass roots beginnings as Hudson River Fishermen’s Association, which paved the way for the massive Riverkeeper and Waterkeeper movements, and has inspired environmental advocates fighting for clean water all around the world:

    From Riverkeeper.org:

    Riverkeeper traces its origins back to March 1966, when a small group of recreational and commercial fishermen, concerned citizens and scientists gathered at a Westchester County American Legion Hall with the intent to reverse the decline of the Hudson River. They organized as the Hudson River Fishermen’s Association, and dedicated themselves to tracking down the river’s polluters and bringing them to justice. Right from the start, the grassroots actions taken by the HRFA went against convention.

    While other organizations sought environmental justice through protests and civil disobedience, the HRFA sought to protect the Hudson through advocacy, science and the law. At the group’s core was a belief that everyday people should be able to defend our public resources from maltreatment and damage. The Fishermen’s actions to protect the water demonstrated that ordinary citizens had legal standing in protecting our natural resources. A long string of legal victories — which provided the HRFA with bounties for turning in polluters — funded the creation of the Riverkeeper program in 1983. Three years later, HRFA merged with Riverkeeper to form one group to protect the river.

    Since then, Riverkeeper has brought hundreds of polluters to justice and forced them to spend hundreds of millions of dollars remediating the Hudson. Over its long history, Riverkeeper has worked to restore the river from harmful PCBs, sought to protect aquatic life from pollution and ill-considered development, and has worked to close the aging, troublesome Indian Point nuclear power plant on the banks of the Hudson. Today Riverkeeper fights with thousands of citizen scientists and activists to reclaim the Hudson and ensure that over 9 million New Yorkers have clean, safe drinking water. The result: Pollution levels are down, and swimming and boating are back. Riverkeeper inspired the worldwide waterkeeper movement protecting tens of thousands of miles of rivers and coastlines on six continents.

    There are now 280 Riverkeeper groups on six continents, and the clean water movement continues to grow as the need for strong community advocacy has never been greater for protecting our waterways and watersheds.

    Congratulations Riverkeeper on 50 Years of Good Works!

  • BREAKING: Port of Vancouver Holds Oil Terminal Lease Amendment Public Hearing

    Crude Oil TrainsAs we have reported, this August 1st marks the deadline for the Port of Vancouver to renew the lease for the Tesoro Savage Oil Terminal.

    Tesoro Savage has approached the Port with a proposed 2-year extension to renew the lease prior to the August 1 deadline. The Port’s staff, although still on record supporting the Tesoro project, recommends against the lease renewal, citing growing concerns with the terminal moving forward.

    Port Commissioners will vote on the lease renewal on Friday April 15th and are holding a public hearing next Tuesday at Clark College to hear public testimony in advance of their vote on the lease renewal.

    A quite different slate of Port Commissioners will vote this time compared to those on the commission in 2013 when the lease was first approved after massive public opposition.  With the addition of Eric LaBrant last year, a staunch opponent to the terminal, the three Port Commissioners are now divided in their support.  Commissioner Brian Wolfe is also now voicing his own concerns with the Tesoro project.

    From the Columbian:

    Wolfe, who has become the three-member commission’s swing vote on the oil terminal lease changes, said he won’t make up his mind on his vote until after Tuesday’s daylong public hearing at Clark College’s Gaiser Hall. The commission expects to vote on the request on April 15.

    “My position today is I’m still going to listen to everybody next week and try to do at the end of the week what’s best for the Port of Vancouver,” said Wolfe, who backed the initial lease agreement.

    Eric LaBrant was not a member when the commission unanimously approved the original lease in 2013. But he won his seat on an anti-terminal platform, easily beating a staunch terminal supporter. Commissioner Jerry Oliver remains a supporter of the terminal.

    Rosemere Neighborhood Association encourages everyone to attend the Public Hearing this coming Tuesday; voice your opposition to the terminal; and urge the Port Commissioners to not only reject the lease renewal proposed by Tesoro Savage, but to cancel the lease outright.

    Read the Agenda for the Port’s April 12 Meeting, including the full Lease Amendment Proposal between the Port of Vancouver Tesoro Savage here: Agenda-and-documents-for-April-12-2016-Commission-Meeting.pdf

    Here are the Public Hearing details:

    Oil Terminal Lease Amendment Public Hearing:

    •  Tuesday, 9:30 AM to 9:00 PM, Doors open 8:00 AM. Public testimony will begin after the Port’s regular business meeting, with speakers chosen by lottery.
    • Gaiser Hall, Clark College, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver

    Port Commission decision:

    • Friday, 1 p.m. April 15, the commissioners will make a decision on the lease amendment. No public comment will be taken.

     

     

     

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