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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 14, 2010 8:38 AM. The previous post in this blog was Tri-Met: We did great in the snowstorm. The next post in this blog is East side neighbor. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Another odd moment in the Portland reservoir saga

The federal environmental folks have ordered Portland to disconnect or cover its open reservoirs on Mount Tabor and in Washington Park. The letter was sent on December 16, but Fireman Randy's office just noticed it this week, about a month later, because it had been "misplaced" over the holidays.

Uh huh.

Between this and the mysterious Thanksgiving weekend E. coli scare, the official story here just doesn't sound right. Something funny's going on. Do you smell that? Smells like... like.... condos! Or something equally nefarious.

But anyway, after all the craziness in 2002 and 2003, when Big Pipe Saltzman wanted to bury the reservoirs and the Fireman was literally knighted by the Mount Tabor neighborhood for derailing that plan (and Saltzman's other plan, to sell off part of Mount Tabor Park to the nearby Warner Pacific College, at the behest of the Scone), now the reservoirs will have to be decommissioned after all. And it sounds like Randy's decided that it's not worth fighting over any more. Mood swing?

Comments (10)

The date was stamped, not typed. Smells like a form letter.

I remember when I referred a councilman as Smell Bad. Nice to see you are catching on. The stench must be contagious to the city councilmen.

Given how expensive, unattractive, and unpopular the alterations would be, shouldn't focus be upon continuing the appeal process? Especially since the EPA, far from emerging from eight years of doing other than its mission would suggest, remains obscure in its purpose and practice.

Hmmmmm.

Perhaps Randy & SamTram will work their magic and come up with some scheme to build condo complexes OVER the water reservoirs that need to be capped.

The condo development would provide the cap, plus...it'd be another innovative destination for a new streetcar and/or MAX line.

Just think of the creative possibilities presented when conjuring-up names for the new condo projects:
The WATERford
The AQUAterra
The BULLRUN Tower
The DRIPster
The H-2-0 Arms

___ora et labora___

-ob

So now we don't need the armed color guard for PWB?

There goes that profit center after he squeezed BDS dry.

Smells like a huge frikkin' contract is what it smells like.

Randy has to make sure that all his contractor friends and family members have jobs. If that is taken care of, then, and ONLY then, can they work on scrubbing the dumbass concept.

Someone from the PWB claims it will cost $400 million to build a new reservoir. They are opting for this "100 year" solution because the alternatives would be 20 year "temporary" covers over the existing water pits - these probably cost a tiny fraction of $400 million, no matter how long you draw that out. Go Randy, serving the public interest by rewarding your construction fiends!

The idea of getting a Variance from LT2 regulations was always a scam.

A Congressional Waiver is the only way to stop these extremely expensive water projects that will actually make our water quality worse.

Senator Jeff Merkley is the only one of our congressional representatives that has tried to help. All of the other dudes wont touch this issue- shame on them!

Our water bill is already about 40% debt service. How much more debt before the whole thing collapses like California?

Gold in Sacks is the fragrance I detect. If there are any retired forensic accountants and lawyers in the audience, we have an emergency here. I am calling out to you under the Good Samaritan cultural imperative. Working class Portlanders are in a crisis here, and I am wondering if the famous fancy debt instruments may be lurking somewhere in this mess. Third liens are bad enough already, but it seems possible bond ratings could be in jeopardy, and some notables have gotten in a bit of obscure trouble over that, in places like New Jersey. Did Portland have to buy insurance against interest-rate increases in case of falling bond ratings? We've got to have some franco-philes around here who want to go nostalgie de la bue or nez dans le merde.

-EPA says they found that uncovered finished water reservoirs "like those in Portland" were subject to contamination from many sources incuding "birds, animals, humans, algae, insects, and airborne deposition."

Funny how we haven’t had real problems with those "contamination sources" for over 100 years, let alone cryptosporidium. On the other hand, several have caused illness and death in enclosed reservoirs.

-EPA letter says "the variance found in ...the Safe Drinking Water Act is also not available to the City's uncovered finished water reservoirs. That section allows the Administrator to grant a variance with an alternative treatment technique...if the alternative is at least as efficient in lowering the level of the contaminant of concern as the treatment technique specified in the rule."-

By all testing measurements taken so far, the open reservoirs, treated as they already are, satisfy the requirement stated above, ie, there has been zero detection of harmful cryptosporidium. Can’t get any more efficient than that. At the same time, the proposed treatment techniques, as applied elsewhere, have not proven to lower said contaminant to EPA’s desired levels, reasonable or unreasonable as that may be.

Unharmful E. coli "event" was as irrelevant and inconsequential as all the previous inconsequential "events." As Multnomah Co. Health Officer Gary Oxman has said, he doesn't think open reservoirs pose a significant problem.

The Water Bureau and Council have conducted one long charade of blatant lying, misrepresentation, ommission, subversion, etc, culminating in the "missing letter" fiasco, that supposedly no one in the Bureau knew about for a month, and during which time they acted like they were still pursuing that variance. They went through the motions at every late stage of the ongoing game, like a hostage with a gun at his head. The public and concernced organizations have given the Bureau and Council the benefit of the doubt for years on this matter. They were used and duped.

If you've got some time, it would be a good time to chain up to the reservoir gates in protest while the view is still good.


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