News Stories Mon., Apr. 16, 2018

Lawyers for oil, gas and steel companies told a judge Friday that they shouldn’t have to pay the Yakama Nation for its efforts to clean up pollution that has migrated beyond the bounds of a federally recognized Superfund site where the Willamette River winds through the center of the city. A 10-mile stretch of the Willamette River north of downtown Portland was designated by the Environmental Protection Agency as a Superfund site triggering the ability of the government to get the industrial companies that dumped chemicals and heavy metals into the river over the last century to cover the cleanup effort. The Yakama sued in 2017, claiming the pollution had also made its way into the nearby Willamette Channel and the Lower Columbia River and had fouled fish habitat there. On Friday, lawyers for the industrial companies argued that U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Papak should dismiss the case, claiming the Yakama Nation lacked standing to file its suit. Papak said he would take the arguments under advisement.

SILVERTON, Ore. (AP) — No injuries or property damage have been reported following a 3.1 magnitude earthquake near the Oregon state capital. The U.S. Geological Survey confirmed the earthquake hit about 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) southwest of Silverton near Salem at 8:45 p.m. Saturday. Some nearby residents said they felt the earthquake.

The deadline to file state and federal personal income tax returns is tomorrow. The Oregon Department of Revenue estimates that it receives a few hundred thousand returns in the last few days before Tax Day.  More than 1.4 million Oregonians have already filed their state personal income tax returns. Of those, more than 961,000 tax payers have received refunds, with other refunds still in the queue. The ODR says that while most returns are processed without issue, there are two key reasons why a refund may take longer to arrive than the taxpayer expects. One – it’s a kicker year. When there’s a “kicker,” more returns are flagged for review. And, two – returns may need “manual review.” There are a number of reasons returns may get flagged for additional review, including miscalculations on the return, misapplied payments, or missing documentation.

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Republican members of Congress from the Pacific Northwest are upset with a federal judge’s order to spill water from four Snake River dams to help speed migrating salmon to the Pacific Ocean. They say the water could be saved for other uses. The lawmakers are denouncing the spill and a push by environmentalists to remove the four dams to increase wild salmon runs. The spill began April 3.