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From: Maureen A. Kenney, Community Relations Specialist, Clackamas County, Water Environment Services (503) 742-4561 01/07/15

Clackamas County

Media and Interested Parties

Clackamas County issues statement regarding resolution of 2011 Clean Water Act violation in Sandy River

The U.S. Environmental Protection agency today issued a news release regarding the resolution of a Clean Water Act violation during repair of a Hoodland Water Pollution Control Plant outfall pipe that was damaged during the Sandy River flood of Jan. 2011.

A link to the EPA release can be found here.

Background:

Water Environment Services (WES) staff, on behalf of Clackamas County Service District No. 1, worked with Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and various federal agencies to secure permits to repair the Hoodland Water Pollution Control Plant’s outfall pipe damaged during the Sandy River flood of Jan. 2011.

By the time necessary permits were granted, it was too late in the 2011 season to complete the in-water work.

By the next work window, when it was time to implement the approved work plan, staff recognized that river channel conditions had changed from the previous summer.

Changed conditions caused concern for WES personnel regarding the approved plan and the potential to damage the riverbank and nearby homes which prompted staff to contact the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to amend the approved plan. On-site workers misunderstood a verbal exchange for permission and proceeded to repair the damaged outfall pipe. The Corps subsequently issued a stop work order and investigated the project.

Note to media: The following statement can be attributed to Greg Geist, interim director for Clackamas County Water Environment Services.

“We have resolved the issue, are working closely with the community and our state and federal partners, and are moving forward with funding a mitigation project,” said Greg Geist, interim director for WES. “I have taken the opportunity to set firm expectations with WES staff, the consultants and contractors to ensure that we are strictly adhering to all legal and permit requirements.”

“We are taking a close look at the ongoing challenges to provide proper service to the Hoodland area which is prone to winter flooding and subject to the volatility of the Sandy River,” Geist added. “I look forward to working with the community and our talented team to identify solutions to improve service and protect water quality at Hoodland.”

For more information, please contact: Tim Heider, Clackamas County Public Affairs Manager, (503) 742-5911 theider@clackamas.us

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