By Jim Christie
(Reuters) – A local utility district in Washington State is violating the Clean Water Act by letting harmful oil, greases and lubricants seep from its hydroelectric dam into the Columbia River, according to a lawsuit by an environmental group that has forced federal dam operators on the river to settle similar litigation.
Columbia Riverkeeper in its complaint filed on Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington called for an order requiring the Douglas County Public Utility District to get a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit from the Environmental Protection Agency and state officials. Columbia Riverkeeper also seeks civil penalties for the district’s ongoing violations and costs including attorneys’ and experts’ fees.
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