Channel Deepening Under Fire Againby WWC Staff
Wheat Life, November 2004
Reasoning that the departure of two container-shipping lines from Portland has altered the cost/benefit of deepening the Lower Columbia River channel, environmental groups want the U.S. Corps of Engineers to redo its analysis for the project. The groups were quick to require the Corps to withdraw its Record of Decision (ROD) and issue a new supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS), or they would follow the usual litigation course. The Port of Portland, meanwhile, is actively pursuing new container ship companies as tenants. If the Port is successful, new tenants would make this issue moot.
The states of Oregon and Washington have contributed $27-million each to the $150-million deepening project. President Bush included $15-million in his 2005 budget to start the project, which the Senate will consider following the November elections. The project, pending the additional federal funding, will deepen 103 miles of the Columbia River navigational channel from 40 feet to 43 feet.
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