From: Amy Kyle, Clackamas County Water Environment Services, (503) 742-4561 1-26-12

Clackamas County

Media and Interested Parties

County to purchase former Blue Heron property in West Linn

The Board of Clackamas County Commissioners (BCC), acting as the governing board of Clackamas County Service District No. 1 (CCSD #1) and the Tri-City Service District has approved the $1.75 million purchase of approximately 39-acres in West Linn, formerly owned by the Blue Heron Paper Company.

CCSD #1 and the Tri-City Service District, managed by Clackamas County Water Environment Services (WES), provide wastewater services to most of urbanized north Clackamas County.

The purchase price includes the land and key environmental assets including; an outfall into the Willamette River, pipes, easements and existing environmental permits. The districts will use the site’s outfall to meet the challenges of increasingly stringent rules regulating heat discharges into the Willamette River. No sewage will be treated on the site. 

According to Commissioner Charlotte Lehan, "this is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our region’s ratepayers. This site makes it possible to meet even tighter environmental regulations at a low cost to our ratepayers."

The purchase agreement allows WES to complete a detailed environmental inspection of the site before closing, including a 14-acre settling pond, and associated streams leading to a functioning wetland.

"We don’t expect to find any environmental surprises, but we want to make sure we have a complete understanding of all the liabilities that come with the site," says Mike Kuenzi, WES director. 

WES is coordinating with Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to transfer Blue Heron’s environmental permits to the districts ownership. WES will secure a small portion of the site for future use by the two districts, while the remaining acreage will be available for other public uses as determined by the City of West Linn. "WES began meeting with city staff, business leaders and the Willamette community months ago to discuss the potential purchase. This is a terrific opportunity for the city of West Linn," says Mayor, John Kovash. "We are committed to involving the community to create a high value resource on the site."

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For more information please contact Amy Kyle at 503-742-4561 or