Dear Friend,

Together we earned major victories in 2021. Communities came together and fought for justice. You pushed elected leaders and agencies harder than they’ve ever been pushed before. Behind each victory were people brainstorming late into the night. Calling their mayor or senator. Designing banners and crafting testimony. Reaching out to neighbors to sign a petition. On Zoom, in the streets, and in the courtroom, together, we won big for our climate and clean water in 2021.

This is the time when we raise the money needed for the upcoming year. I want to report back to you on the accomplishments we achieved together. Below is a list of our 2021 victories.  

With gratitude,

Brett VandenHeuvel

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Here are six success stories in 2021 powered by you!  

Prevail Over Kalama Methanol Refinery

After a multi-year campaign, Ecology denied a key permit for what would have been the world’s largest fracked-gas-to-methanol refinery. We used a combination of grassroots organizing, savvy communications, and legal advocacy.

To be clear, this is a big deal for our climate. The project would have emitted a stunning 5 million tons of greenhouse gas annually to export petrochemicals to make plastics or burn as a dirty fuel.


Force State and Feds to Implement Hot-Water Reduction Plans

Salmon are dying because the Columbia and Snake rivers are too hot. Our precedent-setting lawsuit at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals forced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue a temperature-reduction plan for the first time in September of 2021. The plan identified the dams as the culprit for hot water. And Columbia Riverkeeper brought national attention to the plight of our salmon by capturing heartbreaking video of fungus-covered sockeye dying in hot water.


Stop Tar Sands Export from Portland

Thanks to years of grassroots organizing and legal advocacy, the City of Portland denied a key permit for Zenith Energy’s oil-by-rail operations. Zenith will likely need to shut down its existing crude oil terminal.


Clean Up Toxic Pollution on the Columbia

We partnered with Yakama Nation to push the federal government to list the Columbia River near the Bonneville Dam and Bradford Island as our region’s newest Superfund site. Superfund listing will result in funding for cleanup. Because of your support, there will be less pollution in Columbia River fish and the people that rely on them.


Enforce the Clean Water Act

Over the last year, we stopped over 50,000 pounds of illegal pollution by enforcing the Clean Water Act. And polluters paid over $400,000 in penalties to local environmental non-profits.


Challenge a New Fracked Gas Power Plant

We sued the Oregon Dept. of Energy for illegally extending a permit for the proposed fracked gas power plant in Hermiston, Oregon. Thanks to your pressure, the company, Perennial, is backing away from the project. But Perennial is selling the permit to the highest bidder. If we win in court, the permit is invalid so no sale. Thanks to new legislation, there will be no new gas-fired power plants permitted in Oregon if we defeat Perennial.


Take Action:

You have until December 17, 2021, to take action! Tell Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to reject an increase in harmful pollution at PGE’s Carty Gas Plant. 

Give for Clean Water: Now - December 31. Donate via Willamette Week’s annual Give!Guide, you will have the opportunity to win awesome prizes on big Give Days and through Columbia Riverkeeper’s amazing business partners.


 In the News 

Columbia Riverkeeper | 
Hood River Office: 541-387-3030 | 407 Portway Avenue Suite 301 Hood River, OR 97031
Portland Office: 503-432-8927 | 1125 SE Madison Street Suite 103A Portland, OR 97214 

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