WATER in the WEST

In the West, water is a scarce and precious resource. It’s what we drink. It’s what entire ecosystems rely upon to thrive.

Now more than ever, our water is on the line. This limited public resource is so often thoughtlessly misused, mismanaged, and laid waste by corporate interests.

Our water-focused cases employ the Clean Water Act, the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, other environmental laws, and basic common sense to stop pollution, protect streams and watersheds, and improve water quality, bar none.

Suction Dredge Clean Water Act Enforcement
Status: PENDING

Suction Dredge Clean Water Act Enforcement

Case: Idaho Conservation League v. Shannon Poe, No. 1:18-cv-353-REB (D. Idaho)

August 10, 2018: Advocates for the West filed suit against Shannon Poe for illegally suction dredge mining on Idaho’s South Fork Clearwater River in violation of the Clean Water Act. Poe spent many days dredging in past years, and again this summer, without a permit authorizing his pollution discharges to the river. Despite being notified numerous times…

Kilgore Mine Exploration
Status: PENDING

Kilgore Mine Exploration

Case: Case 1:18-cv-00504-CWD

On November 13, 2018, Advocates for the West filed suit against the Forest Service for approving Otis Gold’s 5-year exploration project. On July 2, 2018, Advocates for the West filed objections to the Forest Service’s proposed approval of the Kilgore Exploration Project in the Centennial Mountains in Eastern Idaho. If approved, this extensive five-year exploration…

Devil’s Corral Water Rights
Status: FAVORABLY-DISMISSED

Devil’s Corral Water Rights

Case: In the Matter of Application for Permit No. 36-7999 (Devils Corral LLC)

February 27, 2018 – Advocates for the West represents the Committee for Idaho’s High Desert (CIHD) in this water right protest. Devil’s Corral Spring is a 3/4-mile long river that flows into the Snake River just upstream of Shoshone Falls. Fed by the Snake River Plain Aquifer, Devil’s Corral Spring is clean and free flowing…

ITD Motor Waste Wells
Status: FAVORABLY-DISMISSED

ITD Motor Waste Wells

Case: Case #1:17-cv-00081-REB

November 10, 2016 – Advocates for the West notified the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) of our intent to sue for owning and operating illegal motor vehicle waste disposal wells in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Long ago, vehicle service shops disposed of oils, solvents, and other dangerous substances by simply injecting into the…

Triumph Mine Arsenic Pollution
Status: PENDING

Triumph Mine Arsenic Pollution

Case: Notice of intent to sue

November 27, 2018 – After reaching a settlement agreement with the agencies in October, the Court reviewed and approved our settlement. Under the agreement, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality and Idaho Department of Lands have applied to EPA for a Clean Water Act permit and must regularly monitor ground and surface water quality at…

Salmon Die-Offs in Columbia and Snake Rivers
Status: WON
October 17, 2018

Salmon Die-Offs in Columbia and Snake Rivers

Case: Columbia Riverkeeper v. Scott Pruitt, Administrator of EPA

August 15, 2016 –  In response to rising water temperatures and inaction by federal agencies, Advocates for the West filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, asking the EPA to take action and prevent massive, heat-driven fish kills. Last year scientists recorded the warmest year on record, and hot water…

Idaho Water Quality: Hells Canyon Pollution
Status: PENDING

Idaho Water Quality: Hells Canyon Pollution

Case: Petition filed with EPA

On March 9, 2015, Advocates for the West filed a petition (linked below) on behalf of the Idaho Conservation League asking the US Environmental Protection Agency to revise Idaho’s Hells Canyon Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), which creates a plan to address excessive nutrient pollution by reducing phosphorus levels and meeting water quality standards on this stretch of…

Galena Mine Clean Water Act Enforcement
Status: SETTLED

Galena Mine Clean Water Act Enforcement

Case: Notice Of Intent To Sue

Launching Case to Protect Coeur d’Alene Basin From Mine Pollution On May 17, 2017, Advocates for the West sent a notice of intent to sue to U.S. Silver and its parent corporation Americas Silver Corp., who own and operate the Galena Mine in the Silver Valley of North Idaho.  U.S. Silver is violating the Clean Water Act by discharging…

Salmon River Suction Dredging
Status: PENDING

Salmon River Suction Dredging

Case: n/a

Launching Case to Protect the Salmon River from Suction Dredging   On May 8, 2017, Advocates for the West sent a notice of intent to sue to a suction dredge miner for discharging sediment and other pollutants in Idaho’s Salmon River without a Clean Water Act permit.   What Is Suction Dredging? A suction dredge uses a high pressure,…

Atlanta Gold Followup Case
Status: WON
September 15, 2017

Atlanta Gold Followup Case

Case: Case No. 1:11-cv-161-MHW

December 22, 2016 – Advocates for the West filed our reply brief in this case, asking the Court to find Atlanta Gold in contempt of court for failing to meet expectations set forth in the 2012 court order. November 3, 2016 – Advocates for the West filed suit once again against the Atlanta Gold Corporation,…