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Willamette Riverkeeper Threatens Suit Against Slaughterhouse
The environmental organization, the Willamette Riverkeeper, has notified a Lane County slaughterhouse and meat packer of its intent to sue the firm over reported violations of the Clean Water Act. According to data from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the company has repeatedly dumped wastewater or blood waste into waterways near Fern Ridge Lake, which outfalls into the Willamette. The Oregonian has coverage: http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2015/04/willamette_riverkeeper_threate.html#incart_river

Potential Roundup Residue Spurs Food Testing
In the wake of the World Health Organization’s listing of glyphosate, the main ingredient of the popular Roundup herbicide, as a probable carcinogen, private testing of foodstuffs is burgeoning. Interests such as consumer groups, scientists and food companies are testing a range of edibles ranging from breakfast cereals to breast milk for residues of the chemical. Reuters has the story: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/10/us-food-agriculture-glyphosate-idUSKBN0N029H20150410 

Interactive Graphic Illustrates Water Used to Produce Foods
The Los Angeles Times has produced a set of interactive graphics which help a person to visualize the amount of water needed to produce individual foods of varying types, or a whole meal. The good news: beer requires a third the water of milk, or half that of wine. http://graphics.latimes.com/food-water-footprint/

ODFW and Cascade Locks Pull Strings to Accommodate Nestle
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is working with the city of Cascade Locks on a water swap designed to facilitate food giant Nestle’s plans to build a bottled water plant in the Columbia River Gorge. The deal is designed to avoid “regulators’ need to consider public interest” in agreeing to the trade of water from Oxbow Springs, which belongs to ODFW and is used for a fish hatchery, to the city. The plan to site the bottling plant is controversial, being met with opposition from environmental organizations, public health groups and unions. The Oregonian elaborates: http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2015/04/odfw_agress_to_new_approach_fo.html#incart_river

Court Rules Navy Plan Threatens Marine Mammals
Federal Judge Susan Oki Mollway has found that the National Marine Fisheries Service did not do enough to protect marine mammals when it approved the U.S. Navy’s plan for training exercises expected to lead to many of the animals deaths. The plan to use active sonar could result in damage to the whales’ lungs and digestive systems and cause temporary or permanent hearing loss. As marine biologists plainly stated, “A deaf whale is a dead whale.” The court battle isn’t over, however. The National Resources Defense Council reports: http://www.onearth.org/earthwire/government-rules-against-navy-sonar-protect-whales

Lowe’s to Eliminate Neonicotinoids
The Lowe’s chain of home improvement stores has stated it will phase out pesticides using neonicotinoids both on the shelf and on plants sold by the firm. This joins with Home Depot’s intent to have all plants they sell labeled for neonicotinoid use. Reuters provides details: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/09/us-lowes-pesticides-idUSKBN0N023F20150409 

Pacific Sardine Fishery Collapses, Fishing Industry on the Brink
In the face of an unprecedented collapse of sardine populations along the West Coast, the sardine fishing industry is facing an imminent shutdown.Worryingly, the collapse has occurred in spite of ocean conditions thought to be favorable for the lilliputian piscines. Fishermen are said to be eyeing anchovies to fill their nets, to the consternation of ocean conservationists. The Oregonian has more: http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2015/04/pacific_sardine_industry_shutd.html#incart_river