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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Meeting to address sewage spill

The Spokesman-Review

Call it bad timing — or perhaps good timing, depending on your perspective.

Spokane attorney and environmental law professor Rachael Paschal Osborn is hosting an extensive lineup at Gonzaga University Friday to discuss the health of the Spokane River in a conference called, “The Spokane River: Treasured Resource or Industrial Sewer?”

There seems to be little doubt that some of the speakers will refer to Monday’s sewage spill.

“The Spokane River has many problems. What happened yesterday is just one of them,” Osborn said. “It seems like once a year one of these plants blow up.”

There were incidents in Boston and Orange County, Calif., within recent memory, she said.

Osborn held a similar conference 18 months ago on the aquifer.

The conference on the health of the Spokane River will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday in the Barbieri Courtroom. The fee to attend is $150 for attorneys and government officials, $75 for business representatives and consultants, and $25 for the public and students. The conference is intended to provide an overview of the laws and activities that affect the river, according to a Gonzaga news release.

Some of the speakers include state attorney general Christine Gregoire at 11 a.m.; Tom Eaton, director of Washington operations for the Environmental Protection Agency; and Brian Farmer with the Department of Ecology’s shorelines and environmental assistance program. For registration information, contact Julie Wasson at the Law School at 323-3704 or by email,

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