Court OKs agreement on Oregon river temperatures



GRANTS PASS, Ore. — A federal court has approved an agreement that salmon advocates hope will lead to cooler water in rivers for salmon. But whether that turns out to be the case remains a muddy question.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency agreement to review its approval of state of Oregon standards for water temperature pollution was signed Wednesday by a federal magistrate judge.

In January, he ruled the federal agency was wrong to approve those standards. They allowed Oregon regulators to accept water temperatures as high as 90 degrees as “natural,” if they were caused by logging or agriculture.

A leader of Northwest Environmental Advocates, Nina Bell, says the group has won lawsuits on the issue before, but hasn’t seen changes it wants.

The state agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.