Army Corps agrees to monitor OR-WA dam pollution

Settlement may have broad implications for the Corps' hundreds of dams

FILE - In a photo supplied by the U.S. Coast Guard, the barge Millicoma makes its way into the Columbia River near Ilwaco, Wash., Wednesday, March 23, 2005. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard, Petty Officer 2nd Class Kurt Fredrickson)
FILE - In a photo supplied by the U.S. Coast Guard, the barge Millicoma makes its way into the Columbia River near Ilwaco, Wash., Wednesday, March 23, 2005. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard, Petty Officer 2nd Class Kurt Fredrickson)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has settled a lawsuit that will force it to disclose the amount of pollutants its dams are sending into U.S. waterways for the first time in the agency’s history.

The groundbreaking legal settlement could have broad implications for the Corps’ hundreds of dams nationwide.

The Corps says in the settlement on Monday that it will immediately notify the conservation group Columbia Riverkeeper of any oil spills among its eight dams in Oregon and Washington. The Corps also will apply to the EPA for pollution permits, something it has never done for the dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers.

The settlement was filed in U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon.

Columbia Riverkeeper says in the lawsuit that the Corps violated the Clean Water Act.

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