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Help Us Honor the Colville Confederated Tribes at the Annual Winter Waters Celebration (Spokane)

Saturday, February 23rd, 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm, Feb 23rd 2013

Please join the Sierra Club Washington State's Upper Columbia River Group in honoring the Colville Confederate Tribes with our 2013 Watershed Hero Award, and Patty Martin (former mayor of the Hispanic community of Quincy, WA) with our Environmental Justice Award. For information and tickets click here.

Where: Patsy Clark Mansion, 2208 W. 2nd Ave, Spokane WA

When: February 23 (Saturday evening) 6:30 - 9:30

Watershed Heroes: The Colville Tribes

The Columbia River is the ancestral homeland of the Colville people. The Colville Tribes filed suit against Teck Metals, LTD, seeking to hold the Canadian company accountable for contaminating the Columbia River.In 2012 Teck finally admitted that its Trail BC smelter disposed of millions of tons of slag (smelting waste) and other hazardous waste—including mercury, cadmium, zinc, copper, arsenic and lead—into the Columbia River and Lake Roosevelt. A recent decision issued on December 14, 2012, found Teck liable under Superfund law (CERCLA) for its actions. As noted by Tribal Chairman John Sirois, “It’s time for Teck to finally be held accountable for its actions. We are hopeful this decision will benefit future generations—not just Tribal members but everyone who uses the Columbia River. It will present a clearer path for the United States to deal with the remediation of the Columbia River under U.S. law and the Tribes, as a sovereign entity, will participate in the process to thoroughly investigate and clean up the river system. ” Links:

Environmental Justice Award: Patty Martin

Quincy, Washington is a largely Hispanic farming community located near where major concerts are held in the Columbia River Gorge. Cheap power from the Columbia River, cheap land, and cheap water -- plus tax loopholes created by the Legislature -- have have caused a stampede by Microsoft, Dell, Yahoo, and other companies to locate massive data centers in this vulnerable, rural community. Of major concern for public health are diesel particulates from the many back-up diesel engines. (Diesel particulates are also a concern in Sierra Club's work on coal trains and coal exports.) There is also growing concerns about the data centers' hit on the Columbia River hydropower system, and demands on groundwaters for cooling the facilities.Patty Martin has led the effort to challenge Washington State's Department of Ecology, Microsoft, and others in her effort to protect her community from harmful effects of the data centers.Links: