Group sues to force pollution disclosure at Grand Coulee Dam

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388423 07: The Grand Coulee Dam is one of the world's largest concrete structures and the main source of water utilization on one of the nation's biggest producers of electricity, the Columbia River, April 16, 2001, at Grand Coulee, WA. But scant rain and snow are keeping the region's hydroelectric plants scrambling to produce enough energy for their own state's needs, leaving no extra electricity to bail California out of its energy crisis this summer. (Photo by David McNew/Newsmakers)

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — An environmental group has sued the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on Wednesday, saying operations at the Grand Coulee Dam in Eastern Washington are polluting the Columbia River in violation of clean-water laws.

The nonprofit Columbia Riverkeeper says the federal agency should get a pollution permit and be required to disclose as well as reduce the amount of oil, greases and other pollutants it spills into local waters during dam operations.

The lawsuit alleges that an unknown amount of oil stored and used at the dam enters the Columbia River without monitoring and other controls required under the federal Clean Water Act.

A message left with a Bureau of Reclamation spokeswoman Wednesday morning was not immediately returned.

The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in Spokane.

The Grand Coulee Dam, located about 90 miles west of Spokane, is the largest producer of hydropower in the U.S.

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