Congress passes bill to improve water quality in Columbia River

Yakama tribal members Mackie Jackson of The Dalles, left, and Anthony George of Hood River, second from left, throw out a gillnet during a May 2014 protest of the proposed coal facility on the Columbia River at the Port of Morrow in Boardman.

Congress has passed a bill authorizing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to establish a competitive, voluntary grant program for environmental cleanup work in the Columbia River.

The Columbia River Restoration Act was included as part of the federal Water Resources Development Act of 2016, which lawmakers approved Dec. 9.

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