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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 16, 2011 7:47 AM. The previous post in this blog was Reader poll: City Hall worse than tow truck companies?. The next post in this blog is In the O, more propaganda on the news pages. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Friday, December 16, 2011

Portland pushing ultraviolet water treatment after all

Christmastime is scam time in local government in Portland, and the residents who try to keep an eye on the city's water bureau are being kept particularly busy this year. Remember that "variance" that the city was supposedly getting from the state, so that it wouldn't have to install a hyper-expensive ultraviolet water treatment plant at the Bull Run reservoir? That was a great relief to city's water consumers, who would have to pay for such a facility.

But remember how tight the city's water commissioner and his bureaucrat minions were, behind closed doors, with Carollo Engineers, the ultraviolet water treatment specialists? Remember how hellbent the city seemed to be building the treatment plant, even though the microbes that it would kill have never been found in the Bull Run water? And how anemic the city's resistance to the federal treatment mandate was? The prospect of getting the "variance" from state regulators seemed to kill the project, despite the city's eagerness, not too long ago, to build it.

Well, fast forward to this week, and suddenly we discover that the city is still pursuing zoning changes in Clackamas County (in which Bull Run is located) that would allow the ultraviolet plant to be built after all. It's pretty shocking.

Floy Jones, the main thorn in the water bureau's side, updated us as follows yesterday afternoon:

We are not so sure that any of the Bureau pork is going away. Last night the Oregon Health Authority held their public hearing on their intent to award a variance with no one testifying against it, though several organizations are commenting against irrational conditions OHA attached to the variance.

But today the PWB and City Attorney Terry Thatcher were in Clackamas County for their land use hearing for the UV radiation plant. We first heard of this hearing was on December 12, day before yesterday. There was never any notice provided to community stakeholders, nothing in the Oregonian. There has been no public discussion, no opportunity to discuss the major changes the Bureau made to the [sales pitch] they gave to City Council. When the project was described to City Council in 2009, the sales pitch for building a UV radiation plant in the watershed was that the project would fit into the small footprint of the current operations building. In the last 24 hours the PWB notified Clackamas County that their land use request is now a master plan of projects that includesmultiple new buildings, cutting trees, a sewage system -- projects they said they will phase in. Clackamas County will give land use approval with no future opportunities for public hearings. The city was not happy with our presence, needless to say....

We secured a seven-day delay to address a few specific issues; then the city can respond, but after that no new evidence can be submitted with all decided by January 3 -- ironically, the same date that the Oregon Health Authority will make its final decision on the variance.

The water bureau's consultants and bureau reps strongly argued against any delay in approving their UV treatment plant conditional land use request. Their consultant (Greg Winterowd, Winterowd Planning) said they were happy to work over Christmas holiday to get this approved. Likely they will get OT pay.

One of the attached docs is the Clackamas County Land Use Hearing description, the other a paper describing how the Bureau plans to address the risks of significant contamination of drinking water from breaking bulbs. In their LU request they indicated that there was no hazardous material related to the project!

Ah, the distinctive smell of rat. The U.S. attorney needs to take a long, hard look at the Portland water bureau. There is something quite peculiar going on over there with these big contracts.

Comments (9)

You know they are sitting inside PWB just ginning up blue-sky projects to justify the extra fees they've collected.

I'd guess they are raking in about $40M/yr more based on a 50% rate increase since 2008 (2010 income was $120M in 2010 vs. $80M in 2008) when Randy had the brainstorm to replace the lost BDS money with some other fees.

In the end, what the heck has changed besides $40M missing. Bull Run is the same, no new reservoirs, same pipe in the ground, same admin/billing computers, no new filtering.

Heck, at least the hotel guy got out of a $100 debt. WTH did we get for giving Randy another $40M a year to play with?

They probably need it as a front to keep the utility cash cow giving milk. Smart City's gonna need lots more $$ if it wants to keep demolishing to create "the vision".

Or maybe it's just to run it into bankruptcy so it can privatized?

Bob Clark is probably right when he says the only hope for Portland is get out of it. I think a lot of people keep hoping toxic decision makers will go away after the next election or two and things will correct themselves, but I think the handwriting's on the wall. Portland has become the perfect combination of crooks and fools.

Damn those slimy rats!

This is gone beyond ridiculous. We now have our own "China Town" right here, right now.

There is only one way to phrase this:

Complete disregard for the law and the will of the public- corruption and fascism wrapped like a hang-man's noose around our collective necks.

Where the HELL is our public defenders in stopping these crooks?

Read the Variance and you will see that the fix is in. We won't be allowed to genotype samples to seperate out the harmless crypto from the infectious crypto, because the Portland Water Bureau specifically asked for flawed EPA testing Method 1622/23 to be the protocal when they filed their application. I read the application when it was filed; it is suspicious; my unflattering summation is here:

In that application PWB lets it slip that these UV plant permits would expire and then have to be renewed if a Variance was won. So, rush to get in these billable hours before the State gives us the official Variance. Then rig the game to lose. Then get in more billable hours when you have to file a new permit because the other expired. I would say this is the definition of pork, except I've known a few pigs and I think they are above this.

Sneaky they are right at Christmas. Going around the public and stakeholders to cement a critical piece of the “outlined agenda” for a UV treatment plant, and right after the public had been told there would be a state variance. The public thinks a treatment plant has been given a variance and behind the scene our water bureau makes the preparations for the plant!!

Someone needs to be handcuffed and sent to jail!! There are so many holes in this entire water episode. The tragedy of it is that they don’t care how much it all costs and even health wise, if mercury bulbs break into our water, no concern there either!!

Just yesterday I posted my opinion here about the water issue. Looks like I was correct when I wrote that the people who have had this huge plan “outlined” for our water here will not give up that plan so easily. I then wrote that I think they are just laying low for the time being as the spotlight is too heavily on this, little did I know that they were over at Oregon City setting it all up via land-use for the next big step, Perhaps the laying low part was doing what they needed to do they thought away from the spotlight. Thankfully quite a few citizen watchdogs found out at the last minute and were over there.

When arrogance and power goes too far, will that very nature then come back to snare them?

The people who want control of our water and some in charge of our water are not our friends, this action lays it out clearly for all to see.

Trying to avoid a spotlight?
Instead, a huge spotlight!
Who knows, perhaps the citizens got a Christmas gift for this being exposed so clearly. It came upon a midnight clear?
Thank you Jack for posting this.

There must some big money involved behind the scenes, you know "too late to turn back now...".

It's ALL about the money. Everyone, write, write, write your Congressmen, the US Attorney. Anyone else?

It's an affront to the public to be told one thing then make moves to continue the plan.
Fire the whole lot of those in the water bureau and others who were involved in this underhandedness.

Deborah:...Anyone else?

Administrator of EPA, Lisa Jackson

Request a Waiver for our sustainable and healthy water system. NY Senator Schumer has requested that the EPA LT2 rule be looked at and their reservoir be kept open, and Lisa Jackson has been responsive. She has said that science should prevail. Our Bull Run water system is in an excellent position for a Waiver as it is located in a federally protected watershed.


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