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Over one quarter of all Oregonians drink from the City of Portland’s primary drinking water source, the Bull Run watershed. Oregon PSR has a long history of involvement with water protection, dating back at least to the early 1990’s when we supported efforts to protect Bull Run from logging and pollution. In 2006, Oregon PSR supported the City of Portland’s challenge to the EPA’s Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (LT2). In 2009, Oregon PSR supported a variance to the LT2 rule as unnecessary, given the unique characteristics of the water source.
The good news? On November 29th, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) released a Notice of Intent to grant the Portland Water Bureau (PWB) a variance. (Read PWB variance request here.) OHA found that "The PWB has demonstrated to the satisfaction of OHA that because of the nature of the raw water source, treatment for Cryptosporidium at the Bull Run watershed intake is not necessary to protect public health." We heartily support that general intent. A variance can help 1) prevent logging, development and pollution in Bull Run Management Unit and 2) prevent threats of mercury pollution and other chemical contamination of Bull Run water.
The bad news? There are serious flaws in the proposed draft conditions for the variance. You can help.
What: OHA will conduct a public hearing to take comments on the intent to grant the Portland Water Bureau's variance request for Bull Run treatment. Your voice can inform and improve the agency's final decision, protecting the safety, sustainability and long-term health of Bull Run and those who drink its waters. Go here for additional information and a few talking points.
When: December 14th, 2011, 5:00 - 7:00 PM
Where: Portland State Office Building,
800 NE Oregon Street, Portland, Oregon, Room 1B.
OHA will consider all comments received at the public hearing and during the public comment period. The deadline for submission of comments is January 3rd, 2012 by 5:00 PM. Comments may be submitted by email or by U.S. Mail to:
Office of Environmental Public Health
Drinking Water Program
800 NE Oregon Street, Suite 640
Portland, OR 97232