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Judge: Federal hatchery violating clean-water laws

Posted January 9

— A federal judge says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is violating federal clean-water laws by discharging pollutants from its hatchery near Leavenworth without a required permit.

U.S. District Court Judge Salvador Mendoza Jr. sided with two conservation groups that sued the agency in 2015. The judge in Eastern Washington said Monday that the hatchery's permit expired in 1979 and it did not have a new permit.

The Wild Fish Conservancy and the Center for Environmental Law & Policy say the hatchery will be forced to make improvements to protect Icicle Creek, a tributary of the Wenatchee River, in order to get an updated pollution permit. The groups say the hatchery releases pollutants into the waters, harming fish.

A message left with Fish and Wildlife Service was not immediately returned Monday.

The hatchery focuses on raises spring Chinook salmon for sport, tribal and commercial fisheries.

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