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Washington Journal of Environmental Law & Policy

Authors

A. Paul Firuz

Abstract

Since 1964, the Columbia River Treaty has shaped the joint use of the Columbia River by the United States and Canada. The Treaty will be impervious to change until 2024, but either party may give notice of an intent to alter it as soon as 2014. Since the Treaty’s ratification, changes in United States domestic law have reflected a shift in attitude toward the environment and the Columbia River. These changes have impacted the Columbia River’s governance on the United States side of the border and though domestic law has evolved in response to environmental concerns, the Treaty has remained static. This comment posits that the Treaty as it currently stands is out of synch with the legal framework surrounding the River, and that the Treaty should be updated to more accurately reflect the cultural values and legal imperatives that have developed in the United States over the last fifty years. The comment offers several adjustments that might be made to the Treaty to bring it into accord with current governing principles in the United States.

First Page

170

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Water Law Commons

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