Merkley Applauds Decision to Grant Variance to Portland Water Bureau

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement on the announcement by the Oregon Health Authority that they have granted a formal, first in the country, variance for Portland’s municipal drinking water system:

“This is great news for the City of Portland and its ratepayers. I’ve been fighting for today’s decision since I entered the U.S. Senate. I’m thrilled that today, the feat that many thought was impossible, is now a reality. Not only will this decision save $70 million in taxpayer funding, but it confirms that Portland has one of the cleanest water supply systems in the nation.

“A special thanks is due to Portland Commissioner Randy Leonard who helped pave the way for this action as well as to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). The Environmental Protection Agency let common sense prevail by allowing the OHA to make the decision on today’s final variance. The OHA engaged in a thorough and thoughtful process to make sure that this decision is the correct one for the health of Portland residents.”