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One year later: little changes with state ground water management

The agency tasked with regulating Oregon’s groundwater still can’t say how much is available or being pumped from the earth, one year after an investigative series exposed longstanding problems.

In the year since The Oregonian/OregonLive’s “Draining Oregon” series examined the Water Resources Department and the practices that feed the imbalance between the state’s water supply […]

Continue reading One year later: little changes with state ground water management

Poland Spring bottled water is a ‘colossal fraud,’ lawsuit claims

 

MAINE – Nestle’s Poland Spring bottled water does come from Maine, but its state of origin isn’t the issue being raised in a class-action lawsuit against the company.

In what they call a “colossal fraud,” 11 plaintiffs in eight states argue the “100% Natural Spring Water” is actually “ordinary groundwater” drawn from wells “in low-lying populated areas near potential sources of contamination,” including a landfill and ash pile, per Courthouse News.

The FDA classifies spring water as […]

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Portland Utility Board: Water Treatment Decision Needs More Time

Portland’s Utility Board has officially requested the City Council ask for more time to research whether ratepayers are better served by a water filtration plant or an ultraviolet light facility to treat its drinking water.

In a letter addressed to Mayor Ted Wheeler, city commissioners and Water Bureau Commissioner-in-Charge Nick Fish, the board urged council members to advocate for an extension before deciding on treatment technology. They added that without complete information at this time, PUB unanimously […]

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State denies reconsideration for Lost Valley Farm

Despite concerns of water pollution and contamination, the agencies responsible for permitting a 30,000-cow dairy farm in Morrow County will not be reconsidering their decision.

Lost Valley Farm, located on a portion of what used to be the Boardman Tree Farm, was issued a controversial wastewater handling permit March 31 from the Oregon Department of Agriculture and Department of Environmental Quality, which together administer the state’s confined animal feeding operations, or CAFOs.

Opponents of the dairy filed what’s known as […]

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Cancer-Causing Contaminants Found in Oregon’s Water, Study Finds

When water flows out of the faucet and into a glass, it usually appears clean and healthful. A report released Wednesday, however, found hundreds of harmful contaminants across the American water supply that can cause cancer, developmental issues in children, problems in pregnancy, and other serious health conditions.

“There are chemicals that have been linked to cancer, for example, that are found above health-based limits, or health guidelines, in the water of more than 250 million Americans,” said Nneka Leiba, […]

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Protect our water: Oregonian Editorial

From its forested reservoir 25 miles east of Portland, the Bull Run system flows more than 200 million gallons of water daily into the city with minimal treatment and no filtration. It’s long been the only system in the nation that could make such a claim, a fact that’s been a point of […]

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Crews begin removing Dillon Dam on the Umatilla River

It took 20 years of planning, studies and grant writing, but removal of the Dillon Diversion Dam is finally underway on the Umatilla River.

A pair of excavators rumbled over the dry, rocky riverbed Wednesday morning two miles downstream of Echo, while project managers watched from a clearing along the stream bank. One of the backhoes, fitted with a massive air chisel, moved into position and sliced into the aging concrete like a hot knife through butter.

“I’ve been on […]

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SW Oregon River Gets Special Protections With Designation

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – State officials have given a southwest Oregon river a special designation that could end an effort to build a nickel mine nearby.

The Statesman Journal reports (http://stjr.nl/2t26zW5) that Oregon’s Environmental Quality Commission voted 5-0 Thursday to designate the North Fork Smith River as an Outstanding Resource Waters.

The designation is part of the Clean Water Act that allows states to protect pristine waterbodies.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality took public comments and supported the designation.

[…]

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Oregon Carves a Path for Water Transfers in the West

SINCE 1971, CRIS Converse and her family have relied on water from Oregon’s Whychus Creek to raise cattle and grow hay. Their Pine Meadow Ranch thrives, in part, because the family’s water rights date back to 1850, assuring access to water virtually without limit.

By the 2000s, however, concern for Oregon’s salmon populations had become a powerful movement. And salmon that had spawned in Whychus Creek for millennia couldn’t get past the Converse family dam.

So Converse agreed to sell […]

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New agricultural wells prohibited in Oregon’s Walla Walla subbasin

Mateusz PerkowskiCapital Press Published on May 11, 2017 4:44PM

SALEM — Oregon’s water regulators have unanimously voted to stop permitting new agricultural wells in Northeast Oregon’s 300,000-acre Walla Walla subbasin due to groundwater depletion concerns.

At its May 11 meeting, the Oregon Water Resources Commission also designated the subbasin as a “serious water management problem area,” which means irrigators with existing basalt wells must install flow meters to measure their water usage and report it to state regulators.

The restriction […]

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