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