1120 SW 5th Avenue, Room 1000, Portland, OR 97204
The Environmental Services Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant (CBWTP) Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) is a community sounding board to review and advise staff on CBWTP projects and to ensure that the plant implements its facilities plan in accordance with the CAC vision.
The CBWTP established its first CAC in 1992 to assist Environmental Services in designing a new Headworks facility at the plant. The process ushered in a more collaborative approach to community involvement at the plant. Plant managers had previously informed the community of projects but had not involved the public in decisions.
The first CAC worked with the bureau for 18 months on Headworks design and helped gain public acceptance of the project. In 1994, the Environmental Services director appointed a follow-up CAC, which included several original CAC members, to update the CBWTP facilities plan. During the year-long project, the CAC developed a vision and set of values to guide continued facilities plan implementation and reviewed and made recommendations on all aspects of the plan. The CAC discussed issues related to the impact of future projects at the plant and odor in adjacent north Portland neighborhoods.
When the facilities plan was complete, the CAC recommended that it continue to meet to provide a community perspective on plant projects. In November 1995, the City Council passed an ordinance supporting the CAC’s previous and ongoing efforts and authorizing Environmental Services to hire the consulting firm Cogan Owens Cogan to facilitate future CAC meetings. The firm, bureau staff and committee members recommended expanding the CAC to represent a wider range of public interests.
Today, the CAC represents a variety of neighborhood, business, industry, environmental, recreational, educational and other interests. The CAC works with the plant manager and staff to ensure that projects are implemented in a way that serves the surrounding community and addresses their needs and concerns. Members also assist in public outreach efforts for CBWTP projects and monitor facilities plan implementation.