The latest news relevant to the Mt. Tabor and Washington Park reservoirs comes from Rochester, New York where they’ve received a 10-year reprieve from the federal LT2 reservoir covering rule.
In a communication with Floy Jones, Friends of the Reservoir, The City of Rochester’s water department revealed how that city, with historic open
reservoirs set in city parks, received a deferral of EPA LT2 reservoir projects, until 2024 after citing economic hardship.
According to a recent letter written by Jones, “The revelation is particularly noteworthy, as the Portland Water
Bureau has stridently maintained that cities cannot cite economic hardship to secure an LT2 compliance delay.”
“Why is a federal rule being applied one
way in New York and another way in Portland? Why is the Portland City Council doing nothing about it?” asks
Kent Craford, Director of the Portland Water Users Coalition, a group of large industrial water customers.
US Senator Chuck Schumer of New York helped Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York City achieve their reprieve from LT2,
and now Rochester.
Ratepayer advocates question
whether PWB Administrator David Shaff knew of Rochester’s LT2 reprieve and whether he shared the information with the Portland City
Council before they voted to spend another $80 million on the new LT2 reservoir projects last month. He recently met with officials from that City in Washington DC.
These same advocates are asking City Council to stop work on the unnecessary $80 million Kelly Butte project. “They should demand, as Rochester did, an LT2 compliance delay from the State of Oregon
citing out of control water rate increases,” said Jones.
The Portland Water Bureau is projecting a 14.8% rate increase in 2013, in part to pay for the new reservoir at Kelly
Butte. City water rates have skyrocketed 61% since 2008. Material provided by Friends of the Reservoir.