• Port of Vancouver Extends Oil Terminal Lease

    Mosier Oregon Oil Tank Car Burning June 3, 2016

    Mosier Oregon: Derailed Union Pacific Oil Tank Car Burns June 3, 2016

    In a 2-1 vote Tuesday, Port of Vancouver Commissioners extended Vancouver Energy’s proposed oil terminal lease, ahead of the potential cancellation deadline of March 31.

    Under the current lease Vancouver Energy is paying the port $100,000 a month pending a final decision by the state. The proposed $210 million Tesoro Savage Vancouver Energy terminal would bring an estimated 360,000 barrels of crude oil to Vancouver per day and has been opposed by community and environmental groups, including Rosemere Neighborhood Association, since its initial proposal nearly 4 years ago.

    Eric LaBrant was the sole dissenting vote, cautioning his fellow commissioners, “Gentlemen, we’re being sold a bill of goods. We need to make a decision as a commission to move on, be done with this process, and to move on to the other things that are in store for us.”

    The oil terminal is currently being reviewed by Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) which is expected to give its recommendation to Washington Governor Inslee at any time. The final decision will be made by Governor Inslee.

    For more information read Columbian Newspaper article here.

    Contact Governor Inslee’s office to make your voice heard on the proposed Oil Terminal here.


  • Environmental Groups Clean Water Act Success: BSNF Railway Required to Cleanup Coal Pollution

    EPALogoRosemere Neighborhood Association congratulates our environmental partners on their successful Clean Water Act lawsuit against BNSF Railway coal train pollution!

    The lawsuit was brought by our friends at Sierra Club, Puget Soundkeeper, Columbia Riverkeeper, Spokane Riverkeeper, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and Friends of the Columbia Gorge.

    In the settlement, BNSF will now pay $1 million to finance environmental cleanup throughout Washington state, including Bellingham, Puget Sound, Columbia River and Spokane River areas, and will be required to cleanup the Columbia River and Pacific Northwest waterways of coal dust, petroleum coke, and other other discharges from open-top coal train cars.

    You can read more in the Seattle Times here.


    December 18, 2013

    John Felton, Rosemere Neighborhood Association, 360‐993‐4939
    Brett VandenHeuvel, Columbia Riverkeeper, 503‐348‐2436


    County agrees to comply with stormwater pollution laws, fund significant stream restoration in lieu of
    potential federal penalties

    (Vancouver, WA) Clark County Commissioners voted today to improve salmon habitat and reduce dirty stormwater pollution as part of a binding settlement agreement with neighborhood and conservation groups.

    “This is a win for clean water and healthy salmon runs in Clark County,” said John Felton, chair of the Rosemere Neighborhood Association. “This is a good result for the community as a whole.”

    Rosemere Neighborhood Association along with Columbia Riverkeeper and the Northwest Environmental Defense Center challenged Clark County’s violation of laws designed to protect salmon and reduce pollution. After the County lost several rounds of litigation, the County has agreed to take steps to correct the problem. Clark County agreed to comply with the Clean Water Act and to provide $3 million in funding to an independent third party, the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board, that will oversee projects to protect and restore Clark County rivers and streams harmed by stormwater pollution. The settlement will need to be approved by the U.S. Department of Justice and the federal
    court overseeing the lawsuit.

    “This agreement means cleaner water and more salmon for the region as a whole,” stated Brett VandenHeuvel, Executive Director of Columbia Riverkeeper. “The County will now act to reduce polluted stormwater and invest in protecting salmon. It’s a win‐win.”

    Stormwater pollution, which is created when rain mixes with debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants and flows into storm sewer systems and then into local waterways, is the number one source of water pollution in urban and developing areas in Washington state.

    The settlement comes after a state appeals board found that the County’s stormwater program violated the law—the state appeals board’s decision was upheld by the Washington Court of Appeals and state Supreme Court. At the same time, a federal judge concluded that the County’s stormwater program violated the Clean Water Act and the Court blocked continued implementation of the County’s illegal stormwater program. The federal court ruled last June that the County was liable for violating federal law, exposing it to potentially millions of dollars in penalties and corrective action for projects that were built to inadequate standards.

    Under the County’s disputed stormwater program, damage to rivers and streams from the stormwater pollution had shifted burdens to taxpayers, from developers, to pay for the impacts of urban stormwater runoff. Impacts range from

    Plaintiffs in the litigation were represented by attorneys Janette Brimmer and Jan Hasselman of Earthjustice.



    To view or download Press Release click here (pdf format)

    Related articles:

    The Columbian: Clark County to pay $3.6 million for violating Clean Water Act
    The Oregonian: Clark County to pay $3 million as part of pollution settlement

  • Federal Judge Rules County’s Polluted Runoff Standards Illegal

    US District Court Tacoma


    Janette Brimmer, Earthjustice, 206-343-7340 ext. 1029
    Brett VandenHeuvel, Columbia Riverkeeper, 503-348-2436
    Mark Riskedahl, Northwest Environmental Defense Center, 503-768-6673
    John Felton, Rosemere Neighborhood Association, 360- 993-4939

    Federal Judge Rules County’s Polluted Runoff Standards Illegal

    Taxpayer subsidy, fish-killing loopholes scrapped by judge as violations to clean water laws

    Tacoma, WA—In a major decision, a federal judge ruled Clark County’s weak development standards that allow too much polluted runoff, violate clean water laws. The ruling, announced late today (Friday) signals an end to the county’s long-time failure to protect rivers, streams and salmon threatened with extinction.

    “This is a great day for counties and cities in our state that are working hard to clean up polluted waterways, “said Janette Brimmer, attorney for Earthjustice. “We applaud the ruling for recognizing that everyone needs to do their share to protect our precious streams, rivers and salmon and that Clark County, like everyone else, must follow the law.”

    Rosemere Neighborhood Association, Columbia Riverkeeper, and the Northwest Environmental Defense Center, represented by Earthjustice, challenged Clark County’s adoption of development standards that were too weak to prevent significant harm to the county’s already-stressed rivers and streams.

    Today’s decision by, U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton, concludes Clark County was violating its Phase 1 Permit between August 2008 and December 2011. Judge Leighton had issued an injunction against the county at the end of December 2011, requiring the county to comply with its permit going forward while the case was pending. The county has been operating under that injunction since that time.

    Under the federal Clean Water Act, local governments must operate a stormwater system that complies with a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit and limits runoff of stormwater pollutants from new development and redevelopment. The standards in the permit required Clark County to limit runoff from larger storms so that the stormwater runoff was more like natural conditions

    “We are hopeful that Clark County will now stop fighting and see that controlling pollutants in stormwater, and fixing the damage that was caused by those three years, will be a positive step that is good for Columbia River salmon and good for the community,” said Brett VandenHeuvel , Executive Director of Columbia Riverkeeper.

    “We are elated that our efforts to protect the environment have yielded such a positive result,” said John Felton, Chairman, Rosemere Neighborhood Association.

    Polluted runoff, or stormwater, is a toxic stew of metals, oil, grease, pesticide, herbicides, bacteria and nutrients. When it rains, the toxic runoff drains off roofs and streets in amounts that seriously degrade water quality and kill marine life.

    The county and an association of developers appealed a January 2011 ruling of the state Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB) that the county is out of compliance with federal clean water laws and shifted the burden of protecting clean water from developers to local taxpayers.


  • OPB Announces Results of Its EarthFix Poll: NW Residents Rank Stormwater as Greatest Source of Water Pollution

    OPB EarthfixOPB has published the results of their environmental news segment, EarthFix, water pollution survey.

    Results show respondents ranked stormwater runoff as the greatest source of water pollution.

    From OPB:

    A new poll by Earthfix suggests growing awareness in the Northwest of some of the problems associated with nonpoint source pollution- the diffuse chemicals, bacteria, and sediment carried by rainfall and snowmelt moving downstream through a watershed.

    Urban stormwater runoff beat out a number of other water pollution sources as a top concern in a poll commissioned by EarthFix and conducted by Davis, Hibbitts & Midghall (DHM Research).

    The poll listed a number of sources of water pollution: industrial waste, agricultural chemicals, and sewage, among others.

    When asked what the most significant source of water pollution was in their state, 25 percent of people in the Northwest chose the polluted runoff from roads and paved surfaces.

    To read the full story go to: EarthFix Poll: Do NW Residents Care About Stormwater?

    Survey results can be viewed or downloaded here: EarthFix CWA Survey 2012 PDF

  • MEDIA RELEASE: Community Groups Give Notice of Clean Water Act Suit to Planned Coal Export Terminal on Columbia River

    Train unloading coal at Millennium terminal in June 2011

    Train unloading coal at Millennium terminal in June 2011


    August 9, 2011

    Gayle Kiser, LCSC
    (360) 749-7029
    Dvija Bertish, Rosemere
    (360) 281-4747

    Longview, WA – Community groups from Longview and Vancouver Washington have filed formal notices of suit for violations of the federal Clean Water Act against the corporation planning to export coal from Longview to China. The sixty-day notice of suit is a legal prerequisite to filing the Clean Water Act suit that will be filed in the Federal District court in Tacoma sixty days from today. The suit targets the fact that Millennium Bulk Terminals and its parent company Ambre Energy are currently importing, storing and exporting coal to their Longview facility absent any permits that allow for such activities under the Clean Water Act.

    For complete Press Release please click here: MEDIA RELEASE_8-9-2011

    To view complete 60 Day Notice please click here: 8-9-11_FINAL_ 60_DAY_ Ambre_ Energy

    More about this story from The Daily News Online:  Groups sue Millennium over alleged Clean Water Act violations in Longview

  • EPA Moves Forward With Site Inspection of Camp Bonneville for Consideration to List as Superfund Site


    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 10 Office has announced the results of its Preliminary Assessment of Camp Bonneville, the former US Military installation in Clark County, Washington.

    In a letter dated March 1, 2010, EPA informed Camp Bonneville cleanup contractors and the Washington State Department of Ecology that based on the information gathered in the Preliminary Assessment Report, “additional investigation is warranted” of the Camp Bonneville Site under CERCLA [Superfund*].

    According to the EPA’s report,

    “the objectives of a Preliminary Assessment are:

    • To determine whether the site is releasing or has the potential to release hazardous constituents into the environment;
    • Identify potential public health and/or environmental threats posed by the site;
    • Assess the need for additional investigation and/or response action at the site; and
    • Determine the potential for placement of the site on the National Priorities List (NPL).”

    The report states the Preliminary Assessment was conducted in response to a formal Preliminary Assessment Petition dated February 3, 2009, submitted by the Rosemere Neighborhood Association and Columbia Riverkeeper under Section 105(d) of CERCLA.

    EPA is directing its own contractor, Ecology and Environment, Inc., of Seattle, Washington, to arrange the followup investigations, also known as Site Inspection:

    From the EPA website:

    “The Site Inspection program identifies potential cleanup sites that have a high probability of qualifying for the National Priorities List (Superfund), and provides the data needed for Hazard Ranking System scoring and documentation. Site Inspection investigators typically collect samples to determine what hazardous substances are present at a site, and whether they are being released into the environment.

    EPA Preliminary Assessment Report of Camp Bonneville finds

    “the sources that appear most likely to contribute current or future contamination at the site are the firing target area, the Central Impact Target Area, the OB/OD area and Landfill4.”

    The firing target area is of concern because of “previous detections of heavy metals in the soil and because UXO [unexploded ordinance] has historically been present in these areas….there is still the possibility that people may wander outside of the cleared areas and encounter UXO.”  There is “confirmed presence of lead and RDX contaminated soil” in the Central Impact Target Area and “it is possible that contamination may migrate from this source through ground water or surface water runoff to Lacamas Creek….The OBD/OD area is of concern due to the presence of historic RDX and arsenic contaminated soil. Landfill 4 is of concern due to the continued presence of perchlorate in the ground water.”  Ground water sampling has found  “a perchlorate ground water plume is present at the site in the area surrounding Landfill4/Demolition Area 1.”

    The report recommends more “robust” modeling and testing of groundwater flow and transport to determine the impact on the Troutdale Sole Source Aquifer.

    You can view EPA’s Preliminary Assessment report by clicking on the following links (pdf format):

    EPA Preliminary Assessment Report – Camp Bonneville

    Tables & Maps for EPA Preliminary Assessment Report

    You can view Rosemere Neighborhood Association’s  Preliminary Assessment Petition from February 3, 2009, by clicking on the following links (pdf format):

    Preliminary Assessment Petition – Camp Bonneville

    Tables & Maps for Preliminary Assessment Petition – Camp Bonneville

    Here is a snapshot of the Summary and Conclusions, Section 4, (which can be found on Pages 79 & 80) from EPA Preliminary Assessment Report:



    *CERCLA is The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), amended in 1986 by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act, (SARA), commonly known as Superfund. For more information on CERCLA and Superfund designations go to the EPA website at http://epa.gov/superfund/policy/cercla.htm.

  • Pipe Replacement in Vancouver: Water Main Break at 32nd & Q St.

    Water Main Break – September 26, 2009

    Rosemere residents were unwinding from a busy week on Saturday night, September 26, 2009.

    As relaxing bubble baths were being drawn, water ceased flowing. Those with shampoo in their hair found this most inconvenient, but employees of the City of Vancouver who were wrestling with a broken water main on 32nd & Q St. had bigger problems.

    In inky darkness, water was shooting out of the broken main, creating a sinkhole which overflowed, flooding the streets. A city employee was probing the massive hole to test for depth. Suddenly the edge he was standing on gave way, plunging him into the raging waters. After swirling around in the maelstrom for what seemed an eternity, he was able to extract himself to safer grounds.

    Water flowed down 32nd towards R St., turning the alley into a churning creek, flooding a home on the corner. The area was a news clip disaster. By Sunday morning, hard working city employees repaired the broken main and filled the sink hole. [Read More...]

  • EPA Places ‘High Priority’ On Completing Munitions Cleanup Guidance – February 18, 2009

    United States Howitzers in World War II

    United States Army Howitzers in World War II

    (Daily News from InsideEPA.com – February 18, 2009) EPA’s waste office is placing a high priority on finalizing a controversial munitions cleanup policy following months of waiting for the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) to address objections raised by the Defense Department over it. The renewed attention to the pending policy for former ranges may signal stepped-up scrutiny from EPA over munitions contamination matters — considered a major cleanup liability for DOD. [Read More...]

  • RNA Receives letter of support for Camp Bonneville Superfund Petition – February 9, 2009


    The Rosemere Neighborhood Association has received a letter of support for our Camp Bonneville Superfund Petition from Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger (Wisconsin). CSWAB was organized in 1990 when rural families near Wisconsin’s 7,400-acre Badger Army Ammunition Plant learned that private drinking water wells were polluted with high levels of cancer-causing chemicals.

    Read entire CSWAB letter of support here (adobe pdf format)

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