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Approved with Corrections ___
Minutes are not final until approved by the Commission
Oregon Environmental Quality Commission
Minutes of the Three Hundred and
June 21 - 22, 2007
World Trade Center
121 SW Salmon Street
Sky Bridge A/B Conference Room
Thursday, June 21—Regular meeting began at 9:00
Commissioners present were: Lynn Hampton, Donalda Dodson, Kenneth
Williamson and Judy Uherbelau. Commissioner Bill Blosser was unable to
- Preliminary Commission Business: Adoption of Minutes of the April 19
- 20, 2007 Meeting
The Commission will reviewed and approved the minutes of the April 19 -
20, 2007, Commission meeting.
- Informational Item: Update on the
Status of the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (UMCDF)
Joni Hammond, DEQ Eastern Region Division Administrator, and Rich Duval,
Administrator of DEQ’s Chemical Demilitarization Program gave an update on
the status of recent activities at the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal
Facility (UMCDF). In August 2004, the Commission gave approval to start
chemical weapon destruction at UMCDF and DEQ's Chemical Demilitarization
Program continues close oversight of work at the facility.
- Informational Item: Recognition of DEQ Employee Greg Geist’s Heroism
The Commission recognized Greg Geist’s heroism award from the City of
Portland Police Department. He aided officers in the apprehension of a
subject who was armed and had shot at an officer. He assisted the police
in locating the suspect, putting himself in personal danger in the
- Rule Adoption: Oregon Title V
Operating Permit Program: Consumer Price Index Fee Increase for Fiscal
Year 2008 (July 1, 2007 – June 30, 2008)
This item was pulled from the agenda and will be heard during the August
16, 2007 meeting.
- Informational Item: Follow Up on
Implementation of the EQC
Involvement Report and Watch List of Emerging Issues.
In December of 2006, the Department of Environmental Quality presented a
report and recommendation for supporting and ensuring the Environmental
Quality Commission’s desired level of involvement in the policy and
direction of the agency. The Department provided a status report and asked
for feedback from Commissioners about implementation of actions.
Commissioners indicated satisfaction with implementation steps to date and
commented that it is helpful to be current on performance measures
results, legislative and budget issues. During the December discussion,
the Commission also directed the Department of Environmental Quality to
maintain a Watch List of Emerging Issues and to apprise the Commission on
what actions the DEQ can provide within the current level of resources.
The Department updated the Commission on the Watch List during this
discussion. Commissioner Williamson noted that the Commission wants to be
proactive, and that he is pleased with the Watch List of Emerging Issues.
- Rule Adoption: Water Quality
Permit Fee Increase and Criteria for Termination of Septic Permits
This rulemaking provides fee revenue for administering DEQ’s National
Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and Water Pollution Control
Facility (WPCF) permit programs, and simplifies regulation of onsite
septic systems. The Commission reviewed and discussed the proposed rule.
Commissioner Ken Williamson moved to adopt the rule as set out in
Attachment A to the staff report. Commissioner Donalda Dodson seconded the
motion, which then passed unanimously.
The Commission held an Executive Session from 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. to
counsel concerning legal rights and duties regarding current or potential
litigation against the DEQ.
- Rule Adoption: Redesignation of the Salem-Keizer Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas produced by
incomplete combustion. The Salem-Keizer area easily meets the National
Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for CO and has done so for over
twenty years. However, until this Commission meeting, the area still
carried its initial nonattainment area designation and was subject to
requirements meant for areas with high CO levels. This CO Maintenance Plan
demonstrates to the public that CO levels have been and are expected to
remain well within public health standards. The plan also allows the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to lift the nonattainment
designation for the Salem area and redesignate the area to attainment for
CO. Under Oregon law, the Salem-Keizer area becomes a CO maintenance area.
Redesignating the area to attainment also changed the emission control
requirements for new and expanding industry away from the most stringent
controls possible to requirements more appropriate for areas with good air
quality. Redesignation also simplifies local transportation planning
requirements for evaluating air quality impacts of new transportation
projects. After the Commission reviewed and discussed the Department’s
recommendation, Commissioner Donalda Dodson moved to adopt the Salem-Keizer
CO Maintenance Plan as a revision to the State Implementation Plan as
presented in Attachment A to the staff report, and to request that the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) redesignate the area to attainment
for carbon monoxide. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Ken
Williamson, and carried unanimously.
- Action Item: Amendment to Extend
Memorandum of Understanding for Confined Animal Feeding Operations
The Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) permitting program protects
water quality by preventing CAFO wastes from contaminating surface and
ground water. In Oregon, wastewater discharges from CAFOs are co-regulated
under a Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) permit administered by
the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) under the terms of a Memorandum
of Understanding (MOU).
The current MOU authorizing ODA to administer the requirements for the
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting program
related to CAFOs expires on June 30, 2007. This amendment extends the MOU
until June 30, 2009. By that time, DEQ and ODA intend to renew the
existing CAFO NPDES General Permit and modify the MOU as needed to address
any changes in permitting approach. Extending the current MOU authorizes
ODA to continue administering the NPDES permitting program as provided
under Oregon Revised Statute 468B.217 and 2001 Oregon laws Chapter 248.
Katy Coba, Director of the ODA and Lisa Hanson, Deputy Director of the ODA,
explained the CAFO Program to the Commission and emphasized the shortage
of resources as well as the importance of increasing partnering between
the two agencies.
Regina Chichizole of the Klamath Riverkeeper organization commented to the
Commission that the regulation of CAFOs under the ODA is not working and
that there is no enforcement on the Klamath and Lost Rivers. She wants the
Commission to allow DEQ to have as much oversight as possible over CAFOs
in the Klamath Basin.
Commissioner Ken Williamson would like DEQ to come to the Commission once
a year to give an assessment report to the Commission on how the CAFO
program is working.
Commissioner Ken Williamson moved to extend the October, 2002 Memorandum
of Understanding between the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to June 30, 2009. Commissioner
Judy Uherbelau seconded the motion, which then passed unanimously.
- Action Item: Request from U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers for Renewal of a Waiver to the Total Dissolved
Gas Water Quality Standard on the Columbia River
When water plunges over the spillway of a dam additional air is forced
into the water. This results in an amount of total dissolved nitrogen and
oxygen gasses that is greater than the saturation amount (greater than the
maximum amount which can remain dissolved in water for a long period).
Over time, the excess dissolved gas will return to the atmosphere. Until
then, the water is "supersaturated” with dissolved gas and can be harmful
to fish and other aquatic life. Total dissolved gas is measured in terms
of the percentage of gas in excess of the saturation amount.
Oregon adopted the US Environmental Protection Agency’s total dissolved
gas standard of 110% of saturation. The 110% of total dissolved gas
protects beneficial uses of the Columbia River, including protection of
aquatic life and fish, such as endangered and threatened salmonid species.
On November 30, 2006 the Department received a proposal from the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers (ACOE), with USFWS and NOAA Fisheries, requesting a
renewal of the waiver to the State’s total dissolved gas standard. The two
current USFWS and ACOE waivers are being combined into one. The current
total dissolved gas waiver issued in 2003 for a five-year period will
expire at midnight on August 31, 2007.
The Commission heard presentations from the DEQ, the Army Corps of
Engineers and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, followed by public
Tom Haymaker commented that he supports spill and forebay monitoring, and
also 115% in the forebay and 120% in the tailrace.
Terry Flores of the Northwest River Partners voiced support of the spill
recommendation and keeping the forebay monitors, but does not support the
Spring Creek Hatchery spill.
Liz Hamilton of the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association supports
spill but does not like forebay monitoring. She supports the Spring Creek
Rhett Lawrence of Save Our Wild Salmon supports spill and wants to have
forebay monitoring discontinued.
James L Buchul of Murphy and Buchul Law firm commented that today, there
is higher survival of fish through turbines than over spillways. He left
materials for the Commission.
John Saven of Northwest Requirements Utilities supports adoption of the
waiver. He believes monitors should be maintained in both places.
Shauna McReynolds of PNUCC supports the DEQ recommendation with a couple
of modifications. She questions whether the Spring Creek Hatchery spill is
necessary, and commented that when the monitoring is manipulated, it is
just like changing the standard.
Bo Downen of the Public Power Council believes the waiver is in excess of
state standards and does not support increasing the total dissolved gas or
increasing the spill. Instead, support cooperation within the region.
The Commission extended the waiver for two more years and directed the DEQ
to begin using an Adaptive Management Process that will, in part, look
into the forebay monitoring as soon as possible.
Friday, June 22—Regular meeting begins at
- Action Item: Contested Case No. WQ/D-ER-06-054 regarding Shilo
On April 28, 2006, the Department issued Shilo Management Corporation
(Respondent) a Notice of Violation, Department Order and Assessment of
Civil Penalty (Notice and Order, Attachment K) alleging three violations.
On May 12, 2006, Respondent appealed the Notice and Order, and a contested
case hearing was held on October 17, 2006. The ALJ issued an Amended
Proposed Order (Attachment G) on November 20, 2006, and on December 15,
2006, the Department appealed the Amended Proposed Order.
The Department was represented by Bryan Smith, Environmental Law
Specialist and Jane Hickman, Administrator of the Office of Compliance and
Enforcement. The Respondent did not appear.
The Department of Environmental Quality recommended that the Commission
issue a Final Order modifying the Conclusions of Law in the Administrative
Law Judge’s Amended Proposed Order by:
- Concluding that the installation of
the two on-site systems constitutes two separate violations, each
subject to a separate penalty, and finding that the penalty for
Violation 2 should be $1,500; and
- Concluding that Respondent acted with
negligence or constructive knowledge of the provisions of the special
condition of its permit and that the penalty for Violation 3 should be
$625 consistent with the Notice and Order.
The Commission discussed the issues at
length and posed a number of questions to Department staff.
Commissioner Ken Williamson moved to support the Department and to
conclude that the installation of the two separate systems constitutes two
separate violations, each subject to a separate penalty, and finding that
the penalty for Violation 2 should be $1,500. Commissioner Donalda Dodson
seconded the motion. The motion carried three to one with Commissioners
Ken Williamson, Lynn Hampton and Donalda Dodson voting yes and
Commissioner Judy Uherbelau voting no.
Commissioner Judy Uherbelau moved to increase the penalty for Violation 3
from $500 to $625. Commissioner Donalda Dodson seconded the motion, which
then passed unanimously.
The Commission then directed counsel to prepare a final order for the
Chair's review and signature.
- Public Forum
The Commission provided members of the public an opportunity to speak on
environmental issues that were not part of the agenda, or for which there
was otherwise no public testimony at the meeting. (In accordance with ORS
183.335(13), no comments may be presented on Rule Adoption items for which
public comment periods have closed.)
Kristen Monsell of the NEDC expressed remaining concerns about mercury
from Ash Grove Cement, especially for children. The substance is
bio-accumulative and is active for 10,000 years. She requested that the
EQC take an active role to ensure that the DEQ analysis is rigorous.
Anthony Bieda of Lane County presented a petition to the Commission to ban
field burning. (Note: this document is on file at DEQ)
Mark Riskedahl of Northwest Environmental Defense Center noted
appreciation for the EQC’s commitment to public involvement. He supports
the Lane County petition on field burning.
Rob Rockstroh of Lane County voiced support for the ban on field burning.
Brenda Wilson, Intergovernmental Relations Manager for the City of Eugene
supports the ban on field burning. She also distributed a letter from
Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy supporting Lane County’s request to issue a
moratorium on all open field burning, propane flaming, stack and pile
burning in the Willamette Valley for the 2007 and 2008 burning seasons.
Dan Galpern, Attorney with the Western Environmental Law Center urged the
Commission to end field burning in the Willamette Valley. He voiced
concern for public health, and presented the Commission with a written
copy of his remarks. He also presented a letter from Kenny Moore of
Eugene, who is a biographer of Bill Bowerman and Steve Prefontaine, in
support of a ban.
Lisa Arkin, Executive Director of the Oregon Toxics Alliance, supported
the ban and expressed concern about children having scarred lungs as a
result of smoke inhalation.
Marie Bowers, a senior at Washing State University and a fifth generation
grass seed farmer in Linn and Lane Counties, testified that there are no
proven sustainable options to field burning. She commented that turning
soil creates dust and fossil fuel particles. She provided a written copy
of her remarks.
Dave Nelson of the Oregon Seed Council testified in opposition of the
petition. He stated that this is a legislative matter, and that the seed
farmers do not exceed standards. They receive few complaints. Mr. Nelson
also indicated that smoke from field burning pales in comparison to that
produced by wood stoves and fireplaces. Mr. Nelson provided written
Don Haagensen, Legal Counsel for the Oregon Seed Council, noted that three
agencies control burning. There are intricate regulations to allow
necessary burning to go on. Mr. Haagensen asserted that the petition asks
the EQC to second-guess the legislature, and that the petition for
rulemaking letter does not comply with the statute and rules.
- Informational Item: City of
Portland Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO)
Control Program: Presentation by the City on Current Activities
A large part of the City of Portland is served by a combined sewer system
that historically discharged large quantities of untreated sewage and
storm water to the Columbia Slough and the Willamette River during most
rain events. Such overflows are a significant public health and water
In 1991, the Commission and the City entered into a legal agreement
(Stipulation and Final Order, or SFO) which established the framework for
a twenty-year CSO control program that would drastically reduce overflow
frequency and volume. The agreement was amended in 1994 (the ASFO).
The City of Portland provided the Commission with up-to-date information
on the implementation of its Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) control
program. Mr. Dean Marriott, Director of the City of Portland Bureau of
Environmental Services focused on major current construction activities
and the successful functioning of the recently completed west side
Willamette control facilities.
- Action Item: Pollution Control Tax
The Commission’s certification entitles the Oregon taxpayer to subtract up
to 35 percent of the cost of a pollution control facility from their
Oregon tax liability. The Commission reviewed current applications.
Commissioner Donalda Dodson moved to approve pollution control tax credits
as set out in Attachment A to the staff report. Commissioner Ken
Williamson seconded the motion, which then passed unanimously.
- Informational Item: Director’s
Dialogue and Update on Budget and Legislative Outcomes
Stephanie Hallock, Greg Aldrich and Andree Pollock discussed current
events and issues involving the Department and provided a budget and
legislative update to the Commissioners.
- Commissioners’ Reports
Commissioner Ken Williamson reported that the Oregon Watershed
Enhancement Board (OWEB) has an increase in lottery funds, and is looking
at funding some large projects. A task force will look at potential
projects. One consideration is the City of Eugene cooling water from
processes to lower the temperature in the Willamette River.
Commissioner Williamson also noted that there is an excess of fuel loads
in forests after fires, which has an impact on water quality. About 30-40
million acres in Oregon need to be treated, which is a huge operation that
could affect Oregon for the next thirty years or so.
With the increased burning of ethanol, Air Quality programs will have to
follow what the effects are on ozone. In the grand scheme of things,
ethanol is may be no cleaner than gasoline depending upon climatic
conditions and air stagnation . The Commission is interested and wants to
hear more as we go along.