An environmental group sued the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on Wednesday, saying operations at Grand Coulee Dam in Eastern Washington are polluting the Columbia River in violation of clean-water laws.
The nonprofit Columbia Riverkeeper says the federal agency should get a pollution permit and be required to disclose as well as reduce the amount of oil, greases and other pollutants it spills into local waters during dam operations.
The lawsuit alleges that an unknown amount of oil stored and used at the dam enters the Columbia River without monitoring and other controls required under the federal Clean Water Act.
A message left with a Bureau of Reclamation spokeswoman Wednesday morning was not immediately returned.
The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in Spokane.
In 2014, Columbia Riverkeeper reached a settlement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over unregulated oil pollution from eight dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers. The Army Corps is testing eco-friendly oils at the dams as part of the settlement, the Columbia Riverkeeper said.
Grand Coulee Dam, located about 90 miles west of Spokane, is the largest producer of hydropower in the U.S
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