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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 18, 2012 12:41 PM. The previous post in this blog was Joe Weston says he'll build Convention Center hotel. The next post in this blog is Hate the two-week-old garbage stench?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

The next big thing at SoWhat

Soon they'll be swimming in the Willamette.

Comments (24)

Sounds like a great project. Now, if we could just get Corvallis, Eugene, Albany, Salem, Newberg, Oregon City, Canby, Hillsboro, Forest Grove, Beaverton, Tigard, Tualatin, McMinnville, Wilsonville, and all the rest of the towns in the valley to clean up their sewage stormwater we're going to really get somewhere with the rivers! Oh, and all the farms that allow animal manure and pesticide/fertilizer runoff and soil erosion. And clearcuts without stream buffers. And oils that wash off roads. What am I forgetting?

"City strategy wants public to be friends with Willamette River"

Explain to me again, if that's the case why they were so happy to let guys build 250 walls of condos on the riverbank.

"250 walls"

Meant 250 foot tall walls

Still, why anyone would believe anything any politician says here is beyond me.

I'm all for sprucing it up on the surface, but come on. The Willamette is your friend like SoWhat is an exciting, vibrant new neighborhood. If you buy into that, you'll get what's coming to you.

The Willamette is your friend like SoWhat is an exciting, vibrant new neighborhood. If you buy into that, you'll get what's coming to you.

And if you're lucky it will be treatable with antibiotics.

I take walks along waterfront park on my lunch hour year around and a couple of years ago I saw a guy, in January, swimming in the Willamette just in a speedo and swim cap in the South waterfront under the Marquam bridge.

Huck, besides listing all the polluting cities and farms upstream, you need to list all the pollution points of Portland.

Like Stephens Creek just down from Sellwood Bridge having over 200 sewer breaks in the mainline running down the stream. Or the huge DEQ fines recently levied against Portland for its sewer pollution into the Fanno Creek drainage. Or the 8ft outfall pipe draining the pollution from Oaks Bottom at Ross Island. Or the pollution sediment in and around Ross Island. Or the over 27 sewer/storm drain outfalls in Portland's inner harbor, not to mention the lower harbor pollution.

We need to clean up our own backyard before we go pointin' fingers.

Take a look at page 20 of the 2012 Oregon Sport Fishing Regs regarding mercury, dioxin, pesticides, and PCB contaminants of the fish in our rivers.

Yikes!

And if you're lucky it will be treatable with antibiotics.

And unfortunately, antibiotics won't touch this sort of thing.

lw, don't forget the numerous pipe breaks under and along Multnomah Boulevard due to CoP's decision to use inexpensive plastic from the Fanno Creek pump station out. They only recently finished tearing that all out and replacing it. They had sewage running into Headwaters, Woods Creek, and Vermont Creek. The latter two feed Fanno, which feeds the Tualatin. That's in addition to the pump station problems which spilled into mainstem Fanno. Headwaters feeds Tryon, so they were running sewage through Tryon Creek State Park - and from there, the Willamette - as well.

Clearly, CoPo needs more bioswales....

Max and lw, at least the CoP has spent the money to build the big pipe project, which really did address the vast majority of combined sewage overflow. Pretty sure most of the other cities and town upstream in the valley haven't taken their treatment and containment that far.

That beach is more downtown.

Huck, do you view your role here as providing comic relief?

You do realize that CoPo had no choice in the matter? Overall, the level of abject ignorance that you routinely display is simply astonishing.

That beach is more downtown.

Just a streetcar ride away from the vibrant SoWhat neighborhood. It will be like taking the subway from Central Park West to Coney Island.

No need for a beach -- the SoWhatters will be jumping off their new dock. Especially the ones who live in the "workforce" apartments with no air conditioning.

Max, your classy inquiry leads me to my own... of what do you really think I'm ignorant?

Do you really think I haven't heard of the clean water act or how the big pipe came to be? I've lived in this city for 8 years (just outside it for 25), watching my water bill triple, plenty of time to learn why.

Are you ignorant of the fact that most other cities have been under similar pressure and continue to do nothing but study the problem, while we're done with our project? You do realize Portland could have told the state to pound sand.
All your examples above are piddling compared to the remediation that's been achieved.

You do realize Portland could have told the state to pound sand.

Sorry, Junior, but the city was sued by some extremely savvy young environmental lawyers. It didn't have a choice.

And please tone down the ad hominem if you want to keep commenting here.

How do Pittsburgh and Milwaukie, just two of many cities who have been under CWA scrutiny for decades, continue to study the problem without consequence? I understand Portland was sued, and that they would have lost. It's the enforcement mechanism that seems to be lacking.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/us/13water.html?pagewanted=all

"No choice" doesn't seem to apply elsewhere today, let alone 20 years ago. It also doesn't seem to acknowledge that the city could have drug its feet in the face of a court order, or implemented far less sweeping measures. The city did the right thing and is WAY ahead of most riparian municipalities in this country.

"You do realize Portland could have told the state to pound sand."

You mean like Chuck Schumer did in NY to the EPA on reservoir lids? The same way Randy cou;d've but didn't want to?

Steve - kind of. Pretty different situation both as to the necessity and propriety of the remedy required by law. But yeah, political delay. I do agree with Jack and Max, though, that the city was not leading on it, and that it was not legally discretionary.

The same way Randy cou;d've but didn't want to?

The same way City Council could've but were afraid to.
The same way our Senators Merkley and Wyden could have?

Corvallis starting working on their combined sewer overflow project 20 years ago and completed it 10 years ago. According to the project web site, it came in 8% under budget too.

Not every city has been just studying this.

No, not every city, Andrew, just many. I'd be shocked if liberal-leaning cities weren't generally ahead of conservative ones, where it comes to environmental remediation. They, I'm sure, would retort that our unemployment rates are higher.

Hillsboro, too, has what is apparently a world-class treatment center. I'm not suggesting so much that some cities haven't done quite a bit, perhaps even more than is asked. That said, many cities until recently had large industrial sites that were not part of their waste/stormwater programs. Local politics often leads to tradeoffs there (we keep jobs as long as we can, but we'll treat our wastewater), which is completely understandable and reasonable in this environmentalist's opinion. Paper plants (almost all closed or closing), mill ponds, power plants all crank up water temperature if not effluent. Non-point sources are the biggest problem, which is why so much of the maligned "behavior modification" is part of the solution, as opposed to just big municipal projects and environmental litigation.

I'm surprised that no one has pointed out what seems pretty obvious: the City can spend money on docks and beaches and walkways, but still can't afford to fix a few roads.


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