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Portland To Drop Reservoir Appeals

Portland City Council members are poised to announce a decision Monday to cease the city’s appeals to federal drinking water policies. That means changes are likely in store for the city’s open reservoirs.

Mt. Tabor Reservoir

Mt. Tabor Reservoir

Michael Clapp/OPB

Advocates and some city leaders had been pushing for a variance to EPA policies. Those policies would require the city to cover its open reservoirs.

Mayor Charlie Hales’ spokesman is Dana Haynes. Haynes says Hales and a majority of the Council members will no longer fight those requirements.

“We think this is it,” Haynes said. “You have some appeals. You can ask the state, you can ask the feds, you can go to court. The city has tried those three things. The answer was unequivocally no. At some point you have to say this is the law of the land.”

Haynes says some of the open reservoirs will be disconnected and converted into community spaces. The plan calls for covering a reservoir at Washington park with a reflecting pool, and for new reservoirs at Powell Butte and Kelley Butte.

The Willamette Week newspaper reports Commissioner Amanda Fritz is the lone opponent. OPB could not reach Fritz for comment.

The group Friends of the Reservoirs said it had no prior notification of Council’s plans.

Portland Reservoirs Mount Tabor Washington Park Water

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