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ENB-4.23 - Treebate Program


Binding City Policy



Link to Exhibit A  (PDF Document, 101 kb)


Section 1. The Council finds:

1.  The ecosystem benefits provided by trees are well documented and broadly accepted. Trees with significant canopy spread over pavement and less pervious surfaces (including sloped turf), intercepting significant rainfall that would otherwise drain directly to streams or the combined sewer system. Increased urban canopy reduce stormwater runoff that causes street and basement flooding, erosion, combined sewer overflows and sewer surcharging. Urban trees provide local climate benefits by absorbing solar radiation, creating cooler micro-climates outside and in adjacent structures. On a global scale, reforestation increases carbon-sequestration and reduces the amplification of the greenhouse effect induced by modern human industrial technologies. These benefits have been incorporated into established City plans, policies and goals regarding watershed management, stormwater management, control of combined sewer overflows, climate change, and comprehensive planning.

2.  Environmental Services’ Treebate Program established by Council Ordinance (#183307) in (November 2009) provides financial incentives for property owners of up to $50 per yard tree planted. BES offers the program to all Portland stormwater ratepayers in the form of a one-time discount on the recipient’s City utility bill.

3.  Exhibit A of this Ordinance contains the revised administrative rules that govern implementation of Environmental Services’ Treebate Program.

4.  The established Treebate Program cost is a maximum of $27,000 per year in uncollected sewer and stormwater charges and $12,000 in administrative and materials costs. Funds for the administrative and materials costs are available in the Sewer System Operating Fund, FY14 Budget, Bureau of Environmental Services, ESWS00007, 9ESWS0000063.




NOW, THEREFORE, the council directs:

a.  Environmental Services’ Treebate Program is authorized to issue utility bill credits and incur administrative expenses not to exceed $200,000 in aggregate through 6-30-2018. The authorized revenue adjustments for Treebates shall be accounted for in a manner that limits any rate-making impacts to the calculation of stormwater management user service charges.

b.  The Director of the Bureau of Environmental Services is authorized to implement Environmental Services’ Treebate Program consistent with the administrative rules set forth in Exhibit A of this Ordinance.

c.  This Ordinance and the attached administrative rules are binding City policies. The Director of the Bureau of Environmental Services or his designee is authorized to make any future modifications to these administrative rules, and implement additional administrative rules, as deemed necessary per the procedures in PCC 3.13.040.

Section 2. The Council declares that an emergency exists because authority to provide the Treebate credit to ratepayers must be established by the program start date of September 1, 2013. Previous budget uncertainty delayed presentation to Council before this time. Therefore, this ordinance shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage by the Council.

Link to Exhibit A  (PDF Document, 101 kb)



Emergency Ordinance No. 183307, passed by City Council and effective November 4, 2009.

Amended by Director of Bureau of Environmental Services and filed for inclusion in PPD August 26, 2010.

Amended by Director of Bureau of Environmental Services and filed for inclusion in PPD September 30, 2011.

Amended by Emergency Ordinance No. 186252, passed by City Council and effective September 18, 2013.