Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.

Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!

E-mail us here.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 7, 2012 10:45 AM. The previous post in this blog was Portland to open new diaper drop-off location. The next post in this blog is Jeffer-Sten Smith didn't go to Mitt-bashing party after all. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Willamette Week
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Thursday, June 7, 2012

PGE diesel spill at Bull Run reservoir

The Portland water bureau's just now reporting that 270 gallons of diesel fuel has leaked into the ground at the Bull Run reservoir, from the hydroelectric power plant that is operated there. Apparently the leak is more than a year old, but they're still at the talking stage about cleanup options. Of course, the bureaucrats tells us that the water is safe to drink, and there's nothing to worry about.

We're wondering why there's a power plant up there at all. It's apparently due to a late-1970's contract between the city and Portland General Electric. As we understand it, PGE is responsible for all aspects of operating the plant, including the current hazardous spill problem. The current deal between the city and the private utility ends in 2017; maybe at that point it ought to be shut down, and Bull Run can be just about water.

Comments (17)

A hydro plant that runs on diesel? Why didn't I think of that?

At the rate we are going with the disinterested citizenry and corrupt politicos I wouldn't be surprised if by 2017 the City of Portland has sold off Bull Run to Nestles or the highest bidder and we're drinking out of the Willamette. Priceless resource.

Or just pave it over.

For someone who constantly complains about how the water bureau is managed this is a rather surprising statement. The city of Portland receives payments from PGE for the power PGE buys from the plant. There were environmental concerns about putting in that plant at the time it was built but the spill shouldn't mean shutting down the plant.

Since the dam would still require a source of electricity for pumps, gates, and other maintenance needs, having an on-site hydro plant to take advantage of the existing water supply makes plenty of sense - and the excess power (which absolutely counts as "green") can be sold at cost, which then makes the City a little bit of money on the lease.

Otherwise, the City would have to pay for a transmission line to the facility, which is located quite appropriately "in the middle of nowhere" and would require extensive costs to build and maintain. (Since the transmission line is for PGE's benefit to export power, the City isn't responsible for it now.) And the liklihood of a power failure is practically zero - whereas if the power had to be brought in, there is substantially higher risk of a power outage simply because of the transmission lines running through remote, mountainous, forested land.

So there's a diesel leak. Have you checked out the dirt underneath one of Portland's many truck terminals, railroad yards, or heck - the Willamette River? The Milwaukie MAX line will require EXTENSIVE environmental remediation thanks to passing over ground that was used quite literally for petrochemical dumping.

The city of Portland receives payments from PGE for the power PGE buys from the plant. There were environmental concerns about putting in that plant at the time it was built but the spill shouldn't mean shutting down the plant.

The city borrowed against that revenue a long time ago to build the thing. The bonds are rated the lowest of any City of Portland bonds. When the current deal is over, they'll no doubt be telling us that some sort of expensive upgrade is needed.

Let Bull Run be about water. Stop trying to make it into a theme park or a power plant. When the current bonds are paid off, pull the plug on this deal. It will have generated around 40 years of money for somebody -- probably not water ratepayers. That should be enough.

In FY 2011-12, Hydroelectric Power transferred $300,000 in Hydroelectric Power Operating
Fund profits to the General Fund and in FY 2012-13 that amount is being increased to $500,000.

The Hydroelectric Power Bond Redemption Fund pays the debt service due on revenue bonds that were
issued to finance construction of the Portland Hydroelectric Project (PHP). This fund is required by the
PHP power sales agreement between the City and Portland General Electric (PGE). The trustee for the
City's Hydroelectric Power Revenue Refunding Bonds holds the assets in this fund and serves as paying agent for the bonds. As partial payment for the sale of electricity that is generated at the PHP, this fund receives monthly payments from PGE for the annual net debt service due on the City's Hydroelectric Power Revenue
Refunding Bonds. Requirements include debt service to be paid on the outstanding Hydroelectric Power
Revenue Refunding Bonds and a debt service reserve held in ending fund balance.

"Proceeds from the sales of the project's power generation output to PGE pay for all debt service on the Portland Hydroelectric Power Revenue Bonds originally sold to finance the construction of the project's facilities. Those power sales proceeds also pay for the City's project administration costs with all excess profits going to the City's General Fund." Half a million bucks a year is nothing to sneeze at.

Since the dam would still require a source of electricity for pumps, gates, and other maintenance needs, having an on-site hydro plant to take advantage of the existing water supply makes plenty of sense - and the excess power (which absolutely counts as "green") can be sold at cost, which then makes the City a little bit of money on the lease.

While I absolutely agree with the initial point regarding need for electricity at the site, you need to revisit your parenthetical comment - hydropower, according to the state of Oregon, is not "green" and cannot be included toward meeting state mandates for renewable energy sources.

Let's see the entire agreement -- maybe PGE's gross negligence and dereliction of duty is cause for immediate termination of that contract. And perhaps it is no matter what that contract do or doesn't say.

Both dams had power to them already since they were finished long before the two power plants were built. From the Oregon department of Energy "House bill 3649 passed in 2010 Allows up to 40 aMW from non-utility owned hydroelectric generation facilities constructed prior to 1995 to qualify annually, if the facilities are certified as low-impact hydropower and located in Oregon." So yes power from those facilities qualifies as renewable power and can be used towards a utilities RPS.It's a 32MW plant.

"Mike's" IP address:

IP Information for

NetRange: -
NetHandle: NET-192-122-243-0-1
Parent: NET-192-0-0-0-0
NetType: Direct Allocation
RegDate: 1991-09-06
Updated: 1996-09-03

OrgName: Northwest Natural Gas Company
OrgId: NNG-2
Address: 220 NW Second Avenue
City: Portland
StateProv: OR
PostalCode: 97029
Country: US
RegDate: 1991-09-06
Updated: 2011-03-17

Otherwise, the City would have to pay for a transmission line to the facility, which is located quite appropriately "in the middle of nowhere" and would require extensive costs to build and maintain.

It might surprise you that we actually already have electricity out here "in the middle of nowhere," Mike. I used to drive past one of the power plants on my way to work almost everyday, taking the back roads from Sandy to Corbett. There's even - ya know - houses and stuff out here.

Mike is the same guy who said on a previous post that we all have the option of heating our homes with natural gas if we didn't like the price of electricity. He obviously knows very little about the power industry in Oregon or is shilling for one reason or another. Either way, he's not credible.

Ex-bartender: I'm not the one who wrote "Otherwise, the City would have to pay for a transmission line to the facility, which is located quite appropriately "in the middle of nowhere" and would require extensive costs to build and maintain." That was Erik H. Look at the post. In addition I never said that we all have the option of heating with natural gas.I said some do.Again check it. If anyone is not credible it would be a person who doesn't even bother to check the name at the bottom of a post.

My apologies on the first, Mike. But you didn't correct your statement about natural gas being available as an alternate to PGE until you got called on it, so I won't take back that part. Sorry, Erik's authoritative misstatement of the facts put me of a mind of yours. My bad. I've been working on double checking myself before shooting my mouth off. Guess I have to work on it some more.

Actually, Baloney Joe, it is Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch that
hold the large debt on the PWB bonds and it has been estimated
that foreclosure by these bondholders can take place by 2016.
Thus, all the expense that ratepayers have put into the water
supply system will be for naught as our assets within the system
will be overtly and easily taken. No bidding necessary as
far as I can tell.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

Clicky Web Analytics