Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Great News!

Word came from the Oregon Health Authority today that it intends to grant a variance to the City of Portland from an absurd EPA requirement to additionally treat Bull Run water for Cryptosporidium. Finally, a sweet victory for COMMON SENSE!

This protozoa has never threatened Bull Run water because the primary sources (humans and domestic animals) are prohibited from entry into the Bull Run Management Unit.  We thank Senator Merkley (who helped the EPA understand the unique nature of the protected Bull Run), the OHA, the Portland City Council, the Water Bureau and those activists, organizations, and businesses who fought so long and hard to halt the unnecessary expenditure of at least $90 million (plus annual operating costs).  Thank you so much!

Now we need to submit comments to the OHA and encourage the agency to set more reasonable and less costly monitoring conditions with establishment of the variance. The only EPA-approved protocol for testing for Crypto is terribly flawed (according to water experts) and the agency's draft conditions rely far too heavily on that method. Stay posted for details on comments and plan to attend a hearing in Portland on December 14th.

Even then, our work is not done. We now call for a commitment from the Portland Water Bureau and the Portland City Council to focus and correct the second part of the flawed EPA rule (dealing with our historic reservoirs) as New York City is doing. As of today, we've accomplished what no other city has.  Let's keep up the good work!

Bull Run Watershed