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Monday, October 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Washington

Washington seeks Supreme Court review of culvert ruling

UPDATED: Fri., Aug. 18, 2017, 11:07 a.m.

In this June 22, 2015 photo, Julie Henning, right, division manager of the Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife ecosystem services division habitat program, and Melissa Erkel, left, a fish passage biologist, look at a wide passageway for the north fork of Newaukum Creek near Enumclaw, Wash. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)
In this June 22, 2015 photo, Julie Henning, right, division manager of the Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife ecosystem services division habitat program, and Melissa Erkel, left, a fish passage biologist, look at a wide passageway for the north fork of Newaukum Creek near Enumclaw, Wash. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)
Associated Press

OLYMPIA – Attorney General Bob Ferguson is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision by a federal appeals court that state officials say will require it to pay billions of dollars on salmon habitat.

Ferguson filed the petition Thursday asking for review of last year’s decision by a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. That court affirmed a lower court’s 2013 ruling ordering the state to fix or replace hundreds of culverts – large pipes that allow streams to pass beneath roads but block migrating salmon. In May, the appeals court refused to reconsider the case. Ferguson argues the ruling’s impact goes beyond culverts.

The tribes, backed by the U.S. Justice Department, sued Washington in 2001 to force it to replace the culverts with structures that better allow fish to pass.

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