Settlement in Idaho Jail Case to Fund $20,000 Nez Perce Tribe’s Stream Restoration Project

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On August 13th, Snake River Waterkeeper (represented by Bricklin & Newman law firm in Seattle) filed a lawsuit against the North Idaho Correctional Institute for more than 160 violations of the Clean Water Act the facility self-reported for exceeding effluent discharge permit limits for biochemical oxygen demand and total suspended solids – as well as missed reporting deadlines and failures to report – in 2018 and 2019. Our filing demanded that the prison immediately cease discharging pollutants in violation of its federal permits and pay mitigation costs to fund a stream restoration project to offset the damage caused by its illegal pollution events.

On November 3 (after negotiated settlement between the parties), Judge B. Lynn Winmill signed a Consent Decree on November 3 in which our $20,000 recovery is being diverted in its entirety to the Nez Perce Tribe to fund a stream restoration SEP (Supplemental Environmental Project) mitigating damage to the impacted Lawyer Creek tributary. Water quality improvements are expected within 3 years and will directly impact conditions and native coldwater fisheries in Lawyer Creek as well as downstream reaches of the Clearwater and Snake rivers.

North Idaho Jail Consent Decree
Nez Perce WRD Work Plan