A state appeals court has sent a lawsuit accusing Seattle City Light of false advertising back to King County Superior Court, giving the Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe another chance to argue what is called greenwashing.
An opinion released Monday states the lower court erred when it ruled the tribe didn’t have cause to challenge Seattle City Light’s characterization of itself as environmentally friendly.
Jack Fiander, general counsel for the tribe, argued in the appeal that the utility incorrectly puts the blame for dwindling salmon populations on the area’s tribes, who “due to the resultant public misperception of the causes of species decline, (are) frequently the target of public ire, harassment, and vandalism.”
The merits of the tribe’s claims of greenwashing will now be debated again in King County Superior Court.
“All this means as far as the tribe’s claims is you live to fight another day,” Fiander said Tuesday.
Seattle City Light operates three Skagit River dams, which generate electricity for Seattle residents.
But the Sauk-Suiattle and other tribes have long argued the dams adversely affect the river’s salmon populations.
A statement from Seattle City Light regarding the decision of the appeals court focuses on the fact that the court upheld two other rulings made by the trial court.
“The city is currently reviewing the opinion and assessing next steps,” the statement read.
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