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Polluter Fines Help Pay For Environment Restoration Grants

Oregon’s governor teamed up with the U.S. Attorney’s office Thursday to award seven grants worth nearly $300,000.  The money comes from fines paid by industrial polluters after federal prosecution.

Anna Richter Taylor is a spokeswoman for Governor Kulongoski.  She says one grant of almost $50,000 went to Salmon Safe Incorporated for its efforts to teach Willamette Valley wine growers about ecological sustainability.

Anna Richter Taylor: “So essentially sustainable farming practices to protect water quality, native biodiversity, and more sustainable vineyard practices.”

This is the fourth year of the grant program.  It started in 2005 with fines paid by a shipping company that was illegally dumping oil sludge. 

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office says the program is similar to forcing criminals to pay into a restitution fund for crime victims, only in this case, the victims of industrial pollution are communities and the environment.

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