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Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

1120 SW 5th Avenue, Room 1000, Portland, OR 97204

March 2009

Free stormwater retrofit workshop - 3/2/09

EPA drops proposed CSO enforcement action against Portland - 3/4/09

Tree commemoration and Arbor Week Celebration - 3/13/09

Weekday lane closure on NE Killingsworth - 3/20/09

Open House to view SE Clay Green Street Project designs - 3/24/09 

Vendors and customers will come together at ecoroof fair - 3/26/09

 

Free stormwater retrofit workshop

March 2, 2009

The City of Portland holds free workshops to show ratepayers how to manage stormwater on their property. The workshops cover site assessment; how to choose, install and maintain stormwater facilities; any necessary permits; and financial incentives.

Stormwater Retrofit Workshop

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

St. Philip Neri Church, St. Johns Room

2407 SE 16th Ave

Get more information at www.CleanRiverRewards.com or call 503-823-1371.

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EPA drops proposed CSO enforcement action against Portland

March 4, 2009

After eight years of investigating the City of Portland's program to control combined sewer overflows (CSOs), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided to drop its probe and not pursue enforcement against the city.

The investigation begin in July 2001 when the EPA referred a possible enforcement case to the U.S. Department of Justice claiming the city's CSO control efforts violated the Clean Water and the Safe Drinking Water acts. Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services took the lead in responding to the claims, defending the city's record including its progress in cleaning up the Columbia Slough, the Willamette River and urban watersheds.

The EPA informed Mayor Sam Adams of the decision. "This is truly good news, and shows that our vigorous defense of our position was the right approach," said Adams, who was the City Commissioner in charge of Environmental Services for last three and a half years and participated in several meetings with EPA and Justice Department officials. Mayor Adams also thanked Senator Ron Wyden for helping Portland receive fair treatment. "Senator Wyden made sure the EPA was accountable for what they were asking of us, and we appreciate his efforts on behalf of our ratepayers," Adams said.

"The EPA's decision to drop its eight-year battle with the City of Portland's sewage cleanup project brings an end to a long, sad chapter that underscores the old adage, ‘No good deed goes unpunished,'" Senator Wyden said. "Over the years, the EPA's response to the good-faith efforts of the city and its ratepayers to spend $1.4 billion to solve the runoff problems and to control sewage overflows was to threaten lawsuits and refuse to meet with city officials. While I'm glad the EPA has seen the error of its ways, this is a battle between federal and local government that should have never been waged," Wyden said.

"We finally convinced the Justice Department to assign two lawyers who took the time to review the EPA claims by digging into the details," said Environmental Services Director Dean Marriott. "Our work is a great example of how a major city restores watersheds and water quality and we feel vindicated with the decision to drop any possibility of a legal case against Portland," Marriott said.

City Commissioner Dan Saltzman was assigned Environmental Services from 1999 through 2004, and also participated in numerous meetings with federal officials. "The people of Portland should be proud of the job the city is doing to restore our environment, and we are pleased the EPA recognizes that those efforts deserve support and not litigation," said Saltzman.

When Portland began its CSO control program, the city estimated CSO volume to the Columbia Slough and Willamette River at six billion gallons a year. The city's work has steadily reduced that volume. CSO volume will be 96% less than it was in 1991 when the program ends in 2011. 

  • The city diverted millions of gallons of stormwater from the combined sewer system by disconnecting residential and commercial downspouts, installing stormwater sumps and sedimentation manholes, removing underground streams from combined sewers, and building separate storm sewers in some neighborhoods. 
  • In 2000, the city completed the Columbia Slough CSO Projects, which reduced CSOs to the slough by more than 99%. 
  • In 2006, the city completed construction of the West Side Big Pipe and the Swan Island Pump Station and controlled all CSO outfalls on the west side of the Willamette River. 
  • Construction began on the East Side Big Pipe in 2006 to control CSO outfalls on the east side of the Willamette. The East Side Big Pipe will be complete in 2011.

Since the program began in 1991, Environmental Services has met every required CSO milestone and finished every project on or ahead of schedule and on or under budget. The 20-year CSO control program will have cost Portland sewer ratepayers an estimated $1.4 billion dollars when construction ends in 2011.

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Tree commemoration and Arbor Week Celebration

March 13, 2009

Friends of Trees, Hosford Middle School and the Bureau of Environmental Services will celebrate Arbor Week with a commemoration of the first street tree of the Tabor to the River: Brooklyn Creek Basin Program, planted last year at Hosford Middle School.

The Tabor to the River: Brooklyn Creek Basin Program combines green stormwater management techniques with sewer improvements to restore watershed health. The program includes planting nearly 4,000 trees and adding 500 green stormwater facilities to inner SE Portland.

What: Tree planting and refreshments to commemorate the first tree planted for the Tabor to the River: Brooklyn Creek Basin Program and to celebrate Arbor Week

When: Wednesday, April 8 10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Where:Hosford Middle School, 2303 SE 28th Place

Why: To celebrate the importance of trees in providing shade and habitat, adding natural beauty, reducing stormwater runoff to improve watershed health

For more information, www.portlandonline.com/bes/tabortoriver.

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Weekday lane closure on NE Killingsworth

March 20, 2009

Beginning today, a sewer construction project is closing one traffic lane on NE Killingsworth Street between NE 7th and 8th avenues from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on weekdays. Flaggers are directing traffic through the work area in a single lane.

Motorists should expect delays during construction hours. All lanes will be open to traffic after construction hours. Construction will take about four weeks to complete.

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Open House to view SE Clay Green Street Project designs

March 24, 2009

The City of Portland has scheduled an open house for public review of concept designs of the SE Clay Green Street Project.

The project along SE Clay Street between Water Avenue and SE 12th Avenue combines new green street facilities to manage stormwater runoff with improvements to enhance pedestrian, bicycle, and motorist safety while maintaining the business and freight needs of the Central Eastside Industrial District.

SE Clay Street Project Open House

Thursday, April 2, 2009

4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Olympic Mills Commerce Center (formerly the B&O Building)

First Floor Common Areas

107 SE Washington Avenue

Portland, OR 97214

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Vendors and customers will come together at ecoroof fair

March 26, 2009

The Portland Ecoroof Vendors Fair will provide designers, developers, homeowners and building owners, with information and technical assistance about ecoroofs. Ecoroofs are vegetated roof systems that absorb rain to reduce stormwater runoff, and last longer than conventional roofing.

Vendors will include architects, consultants, contractors, landscape architects, manufacturers, nurseries, structural engineers, suppliers, research, and non-profit and community organizations. Attending the fair is free. Vendors can reserve booth space for $100.

Ecoroof Vendors Fair

Saturday, April 25, 2009

10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Doubletree Hotel at Lloyd Center, Exhibition Hall

1000 NE Multnomah Street

Portland, Oregon 97232

TriMet bus lines 8, 10, 70, and 74

MAX Red and Blue lines to Lloyd Center/NE 11th Avenue Station

Call 503-823-7863 or go to www.portlandonline.com/bes/ecoroofvendorsfair for more information.

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For information about Environmental Services programs, contact Linc Mann at  503-823-5328.