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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish

Commissioner, City of Portland

phone: 503-823-3589

Email: nick@portlandoregon.gov

1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

Council Directs Water Bureau to Proceed with Water Filtration Facility

August 3, 2017

Bull Run Lake

Yesterday, City Council held a hearing to discuss options for compliance with a federal rule requiring treatment for the parasite Cryptosporidium. The Council, by a 5-0 vote, directed the Water Bureau to begin planning for a water filtration facility.

The City has been – and remains in – compliance with all state and federal rules. We continue to test our water for parasites (and haven’t had any detections since March), and Bull Run water is safe to drink.

The hearing included presentations from Water Bureau staff and the City’s Chief Financial Officer, and testimony from Multnomah County Health Officer Dr. Paul Lewis, our two citizen oversight bodies – the Portland Utility Board (PUB) and the Oregon Citizens’ Utility Board (CUB), and the public.

Following public testimony, Council directed the Water Bureau to proceed with design and construction of a filtration facility.

Cryptosporidium, or “Crypto” is a microscopic parasite that lives in the intestines of humans and other animals and can cause illness. Federal regulations – the Safe Drinking Water Act and Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (“LT2”) – require local water utilities to treat for Crypto.

In 2012, Portland became the only water utility in the country to receive a 10-year variance to the required treatment. The variance was a “one strike and you’re out” agreement, and mandated stringent testing.

This past winter, following heavy rains, the bureau detected trace amounts of Crypto in our Bull Run Watershed. In May, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) notified the City that our variance would be revoked, and that we would be required to present a treatment plan to them this fall.

In May, the Water Bureau initiated a robust public process to review treatment options. In June, Council held a work session to learn about treatment options. And the PUB held several public meetings, and both the PUB and the CUB issued formal recommendations encouraging Council to proceed with filtration.

Based on community input, Mayor Wheeler and Commissioner Fish asked OHA for more time to submit our compliance plan. In response, OHA gave us an additional 60 days.

The Water Bureau will use this additional time to develop a compliance plan in consultation with the PUB and CUB.

Thanks to community members who testified and shared their input, the PUB and the CUB for their recommendations, Multnomah County Health Officer Dr. Paul Lewis for lending his perspective as a public health professional, and City staff for providing Council with the information it needed to come to a thoughtful decision.

Additional Information:

Portland Water Bureau FAQ

 

Water Bureau Presentation, June 27 Work Session

 

OHA Treatment Order (May 19, 2017)

 

Multnomah County Health Officer Letter (July 18, 2017)

 

PUB Letter (July 27, 2017)

 

CUB Letter (July 28, 2017)

 

Bull Run Wholesale Customer Letter (July 31, 2017)

 

Mayor Wheeler and Commissioner Fish Requesting Extension from OHA (August 1, 2017)

 

OHA Letter Granting Extension (August 1, 2017)

Media:

Portland City Council Moves Forward With Water Filtration Plant

Ericka Cruz Guevarra in OPB

 

5-0: Portland City Council chooses filtration

KOIN 6 News

 

Portland Is Going to Build a Massive Filtration Plant for Its Oft-Lauded Water Supply

Dirk VanderHart in the Portland Mercury

 

8 things to know about Portland's new water treatment plan

The Oregonian

 

Portland will pay up to $500 million to clean its drinking water

Jessica Floum in The Oregonian

 

Portland granted 60-day delay on crypto decision

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune

 

Our Opinion: Spend now on filtration, save later

The Portland Tribune Editorial Board


As Portland Considers Two New Water Treatment Plants, Some Worry About "Rushed Process"

Dirk VanderHart in the Portland Mercury

 

City Hall Watch: Short crypto deadline blasted

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune

 

Protect Our Water

The Oregonian Editorial Board

 

Water bureau recommends hybrid crypto option as vote nears

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune

 

Health Official Recommends Most Expensive Treatment Option

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune

 

Oversight Group Tells Portland To Slow Decision on Water Treatment Plant

Amelia Templeton in OPB

 

Advisory Board: More Time or Spendiest Crypto Option

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune

 

Crypto Options to be Considered by Advisory Committee Tuesday

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune

 

As Portland Races for Water Parasite Treatment, Public Utility Board Hits Brakes

Ericka Cruz Guevarra in OPB

 

Group Delays Vote on Treating Water for Crypto

Olivia Sanchez in the Portland Tribune

 

Average Cost of Portland Tap Water Could Increase $10 A Month

Amelia Templeton in OPB

 

Water Treatment Controversy Heats Up Tuesday

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune

 

City Council to Vote on Crypto Treatment by August

Andrew Dymburt in KOIN 6 News

 

Portland Looking at Ways to Rid its Water of Parasite – At a Cost

KATU News

The Weekly Catch

Nick Fish On Finding Portland's Next Arts Chief

April Baer in OPB

 

Metro Portland's Arts Agency Looks For New Leadership

April Baer in OPB

Water Quality

Portland City Council Moves Forward with Water Filtration Plant

Ericka Cruz Guevarra in OPB

 

5-0: Portland City Council Chooses Filtration

KOIN 6 News

 

8 Things to Know About Portland’s New Water Treatment Plan

Beth Nakamura in The Oregonian

 

Portland Will Pay Up to $500 Million to Clean Its Drinking Water

Jessica Floum in The Oregonian

 

$500M Water Treatment Plant Gets Portland Go-Ahead

Andy Giegerich in the Portland Business Journal

 

Portland Water Bills Swell to Cover $500M Treatment Plant

The Associated Press and KGW News

 

Portland Is Going to Build a Massive Filtration Plant for Its Oft-Lauded Water Supply

Dirk VanderHart in the Portland Mercury

 

Portland Approves Water Filtration Plant to Treat for Parasite

KATU News

 

Portland Granted 60-Day Delay on Crypto Decision

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune

 

Wheeler, Fish Seek Delay on Crypto Option Deadline

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune

 

Officials Want More Time to Scrutinize a New Water Treatment Plant – But a Decision Still Might Come Tomorrow

Dirk VanderHart in the Portland Mercury

Police Accountability

Community Weighs in On Portland's '48-Hour Rule' on Police Shootings

KATU News 

Fossil Fuel Ordinance

Portland Will Defend Fossil Fuel Ordinance Before Oregon Court of Appeals

Steve Law in the Portland Tribune

 

Portland City Council Votes to Fight Fossil-Fuel Infrastructure Ruling

Pete Danko in the Portland Business Journal

In Other News

Renovation of Schnitzer 'Portland' Sign Nearly Complete

Olivia Dimmer in The Oregonian

 

First Pan African Festival Comes to Oregon

Melanie Sevcenko in The Skanner

Celebrating 50 Years of the Goose Hollow Inn

August 8, 2017

Congratulations to former Mayor Bud Clark on the 50th Anniversary of The Goose Hollow Inn!

On Saturday, Nick and his wife Patricia attended the celebration of the iconic neighborhood tavern, owned and operated by the Clark Family.

Bud and Nick are good friends, and used to live in the same apartment building! When Nick served as Housing Commissioner, he championed the development of Bud Clark Commons, an innovative site which combines affordable apartments, emergency shelter beds, and social services under one roof.

Founded in 1967, the Goose Hollow Inn is Nick’s favorite neighborhood tavern.

Happy 50th!

The Weekly Catch

Nick Fish on Finding Portland’s Next Art Chief

April Baer, OPB

 

Tillamook Row Breaks ‘Green’ Ground in Eliot for ‘Missing Middle’

Ted Perkins in The Hollywood Star News

Water Treatment

City OKs Filtration of Region's Water

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune

 

Sources Say: Fish, Saltzman Water Votes Put City's Needs First

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune

Police Reform

Portland Mayor, Commissioner Push for Immediate Interviews in Officer Shootings

Amelia Templeton in OPB

 

Wheeler, Fish to Offer Amendment Ending '48-Hour Rule' in Police Shootings

KATU News

 

Portland City Council Seeks Prompt Police Interviews of Cops Who Use Deadly Force

Maxine Bernstein in The Oregonian

 

Portlanders Just Forced Changes to Contentious Police Oversight Proposals

Dirk VanderHart in the Portland Mercury

 

Portland Mayor Drops Plan to Wait for Court Ruling on Compelling Cops to Talk After Deadly Force Use

Maxine Bernstein in The Oregonian

New Police Chief

Mayor Ted Wheeler Names Danielle Outlaw to Lead Portland Police Bureau

Mayor Wheeler Press Release

 

Portland’s Next Police Chief Says She’s Here To ‘Strengthen’ Bureau

Conrad Wilson in OPB News

 

Highlights from New Police Chief Danielle Outlaw’s First Public Appearance in Town

Doug Brown in the Portland Mercury

 

Future Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw Strikes a Conciliatory Tone at First Public Appearance

Katie Shepherd in Willamette Week

 

Portland’s New Police Chief Tells Officers She Values Them, Here to ‘Strengthen’ Their Work

Maxine Bernstein in The Oregonian

 

New Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw Formally Introduced by City

Bob Heye in KATU News

 

Outlaw Selected as Police Chief in Portland

Travis Loose in the Portland Patch

 

Danielle Outlaw Will Become the First Black Woman to be Portland Police Chief

Katie Shepherd in Willamette Week

Housing

Portland to Tear Down SE Portland Strip Club to Build Affordable Housing

Jessica Floum in The Oregonian

In Other News

Airbnb Lobbying Portland to End City Inspections of Short-Term Rentals

Steve Law in the Portland Tribune

 

5 Business Takeaways from Portland's Proposed Central City 2035 Plan

Clare Duffy in the Portland Business Journal

 

Albina Jazz Festival Pays Tribute to Portland’s Music History

Christen McCurdy in The Skanner

Commissioner Fish's Statement on his Cancer Diagnosis

August 17, 2017

I have some bad news to share with you.

I have been diagnosed with cancer. 

Over the past few months, I experienced weight loss, poor appetite, indigestion, and abdominal pain.

A recent CT scan rang a number of alarm bells. A follow-up laparoscopy this week confirmed our worst fears: adenocarcinoma of the abdomen.

I am in good hands at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. My doctors have prescribed regular outpatient chemotherapy treatments. The medicine will weaken my immune system, but should not prevent me from continuing to serve on the City Council.

This is the biggest challenge I have ever faced. I intend to fight this disease with every fiber of my body.

I am incredibly grateful to my family for their love and support. Please keep us in your prayers.

Thank you,

Nick