Court Ruling Mandates Culvert Improvements in Washington
“[T]he 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has decided the state [of Washington] must do more toward fixing its hundreds of culverts,” reports Daniel Jack Chasan.
“The court affirmed a lower court decision ordering the state to replace its worst salmon-killing culverts that block passage upstream for the fish. A unanimous three-judge panel held that the culverts violate federal treaties signed with Washington tribes,” adds Chasan.
The court decided the state had drastically overstated the estimated cost of replacing the culverts—at $1.9 billion. Chasan also notes that the case has legal underpinnings that go back over a century. The decision could also impact the future of four lower Snake River Dams.