Port of Vancouver, Columbia Riverkeeper resolve lawsuit

The Port of Vancouver USA and Columbia Riverkeeper, Sierra Club and Northwest Environmental Defense Center have come to stipulated agreement on a lawsuit that alleged the port violated Washington state’s Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) when it held executive sessions between February and July 2013 to discuss the minimum price of real estate related to the Vancouver Energy lease.

The agreement stipulates that, for purposes of resolving the litigation, the port will concede that some of the meetings in question did not comply with the OPMA as later interpreted by the Washington State Supreme Court in June 2017. The port will pay reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs, and Riverkeeper will end its suit against the port.

“As a key player in the region’s economic vitality, we recognize the importance of clear and transparent processes when municipalities make decisions that affect our communities,” said Port CEO Julianna Marler. “Our staff and commissioners have always been dedicated to transparency and accountability, and we’ve immediately addressed concerns that were brought to our attention.

“When the Supreme Court provided its new interpretation, we worked with others in our industry to continue to comply,” Marler said. “That will be the case going forward, as well, and we’ll continue to look for ways to keep our community engaged and informed.”

The OPMA lawsuit was filed in October 2013. Background information is available on the port’s website at www.portvanusa.com/news.



Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.