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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 26, 2012 12:46 PM. The previous post in this blog was Out in front. The next post in this blog is Another reason to vote for Bojack in Mayoral Madness. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Why are Portland sewer funds being spent to clean up industrial PCBs?

A good question, which a judge will soon be called upon to answer.

Comments (10)

Somebody probably just needed something to "pencil out" in exchange for the city that wheels-and-deals-behind-closed-doors getting something it wanted.

All about public-private partnerships.
I heard Katz use that term frequently with a look of enthusiasm and a smile on her face.

My opinion of this is that we the public pay and pay for the private to gain and gain.
This is where the public comes into the picture.
Very likely a similar concept going with the lands and/or trades of lands as well. Are developments and our new parks to be on former brownfields that we the public will pay to clean? In the case of parks how safely can they be cleaned for our children to play on?

Re: "we the public pay and pay"

Yes, indeed, clinamen, we even pay for the lawyers employed by the city who labor against the public good in opposing the lawsuit that has been brought against the city for the public's benefit.

The public is only a source of revenue.

"The city recently filed a motion to dismiss the suit, in part on the grounds that the City Council is authorized to determine the appropriate uses for water and sewer rate funds. No trial date has yet been set."

These folks aren't going to let go of that huge slush fund without a fight- that's for damn sure.

So now they are going to spend as much of our money as they want to see if they can outspend the other side into giving up.

Hell has no water, but is full of sewer rats like our current political class.

From Jack's link and the comment section there, I couldn't have said it any better than this:

Re: Lawsuit questions city Superfund spending

Given access to ANY amount of funds and assigned any project, lawyers, planners, consultants and engineers can spend it ALL, and accomplish nothing.

"Some Guy Named "Bob""
(email verified)

Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 08:50 AM

Well said Bob.

So if plaintiffs make it over the discretion hurdle, what will be the reasoning for using sewer money for harbor cleanup? Outflow from sewer overflow churns up PCB sediment or will it be pollution credits to be used against some other aspect of the sewage system?

Maybe it is time for a Petition to vote that the City Council is NOT "authorized to determine the appropriate uses for water and sewer rate funds" beyond what is prescribed by the City Charter. Or better yet, amend the Charter to be even more explicit since our City seems to be able to interpret about anything any which way they want.

The plaintiffs might want to use some of their resources to initiate the Petition to collect the 29,000 signature needed. It should be easy considering the outrage building around our sewer and water bills. A two prong attack might be enough to throttle the disregard our City is feeding us.

I'm in favor of sending some folks to jail for their wanton misuse of public monies..
If nothing else it might get the attention of the rest of our elected "public" servants...

The irony is that the public may be paying for the cleanup, but it very well may not end there, we may be paying to clean it up so that we can drink it someday!

Don't put it past them to have that in mind, to blend this super-funded Willamette River with our good Bull Run drinking water. People need to know that this was an issue 10-15 years ago under the Regional Water Supply Plan that was passed.
I remember that a group very concerned about drinking river water gathered signatures with the theme "Not In My Pipes."
Is that plan being dredged up again? We have to ask questions as too much is being planned behind closed doors and trust has been lost regarding PWB.

Can we trust that our elected officials are on our side in this matter? It is my opinion that stakeholders have an agenda here, but as was mentioned the other day, often we the people are not included in the stake except to pay. We should demand transparency on plans, and some people do request documents, however, it comes at a hefty price to pay for them. Why should we have to pay to find out what is going on or file lawsuits?

Whatever happened not only to our country, but our local governments?
It would be interesting to get data on how many lawsuits are being filed by citizens when those who are supposed to represent them and public interests won't.

Re: "Don't put it past them to have that in mind, to blend this super-funded Willamette River with our good Bull Run drinking water."

clinamen,

Surely you are not forgetting that Wilsonville opted, over a decade ago, to take all of its water from the Willamette:

"In April 2002, Wilsonville began operation of its new water treatment plant on the Willamette River."
http://www.ci.wilsonville.or.us/Index.aspx?page=339

"During the 1990's pilot tests were conducted here in Wilsonville using conventional treatment methods. These tests confirmed that under 'worst case' conditions, treated water from the Willamette could consistently meet drinking water standards. As a further margin of safety, enhanced methods of treatment were tested and incorporated into the design of the multi-barrier system used at Wilsonville's water treatment plant. The resulting water supplied from this facility is even purer than required by current drinking water standards (as well as proposed future drinking water standards)."


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