Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement on the announcement by the Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Division that they intend to grant a variance to the City of Portland for its costly water treatment plant:
“I have continued to argue that Portland has some of the cleanest water in the nation and should not be subjected to unnecessary and costly water treatment requirements. Two years ago, I worked with the state to convince the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that decisions about the City of Portland’s water treatment facility should be based on testing, not rigid federal rules. I am thrilled that the state has stepped up to the plate and granted Portland the variance they deserve.
“The City of Portland has gone through enhanced testing to ensure that its water is free from Cryptosporidium and during this period of enhanced testing, there have been zero instances of the parasite. I applaud the leadership of the EPA for its flexibility in allowing the state of Oregon to make this decision. And I applaud the Public Health Division for its decision which will save ratepayers millions of dollars.”