SENATE COMMITTEE ON

TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

 

 

April 30, 2003                                                                                                         Hearing Room C

8:00 AM                                                                                                                   Tapes 103 - 104

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Rick Metsger, Chair

Sen. Ryan Deckert

Sen. David Nelson

 

MEMBERS ECUSED:           Sen. Bruce Starr, Vice-Chair

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Amy Joyce, Committee Administrator  

Annastasia Suess, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURE/ISSUES HEARD:           SB 751 - Public Hearing

                                                           

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 103, A

002

Chair Metsger

Calls the committee to order at 8:10 a.m. and convenes the committee to the call of the chair.

 

 

RECESS

010

Chair Metsger

Reconvenes the committee at 8:41 a.m. and opens a public hearing on SB 751.

SB 751 – PUBLIC HEARING

032

Chair Metsger

Summarizes the dash one amendments to SB 751 (EXHIBIT A).

060

John DiLorenzo

Portland Attorney.  Provides testimony in support of the dash one amendments and provides written testimony on SB 751  (EXHIBIT B).

135

DiLorenzo

Describes specific points addressed by the original bill and the dash one amendments:

·        150,000,000 bond issue

·        Direct cleanup authority issue

·        Abatement orders issue

·        Role of the Governor

Concludes testimony

208

Sen. Nelson

Asks for elaboration on the issue regarding the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) liability.

220

DiLorenzo

Responds, states the bill and the amendments do not change the current authority of the EPA.

240

Sen. Nelson

States a great concern with the responsibility of the EPA.

250

DiLorenzo

Comments on the intent of the bill regarding the EPA.

265

Sen. Nelson

Asks for clarification on the proposed authority chain.

275

DiLorenzo

Summarizes the need for the higher direction from elected officials.

280

Roger Martin

Attorney.  Provides testimony and written materials in support of SB 751 (EXHIBIT C).

390

Martin

Continues testimony, citing personal history of Columbia River Clean-up liability.

TAPE 104, A

054

Rhett Lawrence

Environmental Advocate, Oregon State Public Interest Research Group (OSPIRG).  Reads written testimony in opposition to SB 751 and the dash one amendments (EXHIBIT D).

120

Chair Metsger

Asks if the Superfund efficiency has proven to be effective in numerous cleanup sites in Oregon.

135

Lawrence

States there are several complex clean-ups that are costly, but ultimately they all still need time to judge effectiveness.

154

Chair Metsger

Asks about the process for the polluters burden outlined in the amendments.

160

Lawrence

Reiterates a strong concern that taxpayers will end up paying the cost of clean up.

170

Sen. Nelson

Asks for the process for assigning blame for the pollution.

180

Lawrence

States that orphan funds were intended to be paid by the Superfund tax.  States there is a problem if the Superfund tax is not re-initiated.

190

Sen. Nelson

Asks why the tax payer does not have a responsibility.

200

Lawrence

States that the tax payer does have a small responsibility, but the burden should fall to the polluters.

210

Sen. Nelson

Comments on the testimony from DiLorenzo.  Asks about the current situation on the Columbia.

230

Lawrence

Comments on the Lower Columbia Cleanup group.

240

Sen. Nelson

Comments on the large animal population along the Columbia River, and the large amount of good things happening along the river.

255

Sen. Deckert

States that the sewer rates are funding a lot of river clean-up in district 14.

275

Sen. Nelson

Clarifies that the testimony presented was focused on the negative happenings in Oregon, and wanted to address the positive.

300

Gary Bauer

Northwest Natural Gas.  Provides testimony in opposition to SB 751.  States that NW Natural is one of the nine potentially responsible parties (PRP’s) and outlines the process the PRP’s are working through to get all the parties to the table.

400

Chair Metsger

Inquires about NW Natural’s opinion that there will be a huge orphan liability to assess.

409

Bauer

States there is an unknown cost that no one will want to take responsibility for.

TAPE 103, B

003

Chair Metsger

Asks if it is the intent of the Superfund to fill in the orphan dollars.

010

Bauer

Confirms.

015

Sen. Nelson

Asks if there is a fear NW Natural will end of footing a larger portion of the bill than is necessary.

030

Bauer

Agrees.  States the costs continue to grow for the entities that are working to do the right thing.

040

Chair Metsger

Asks where NW Natural will get the monies to pay for the clean up.

042

Bauer

States through insurance coverage and increased utility user fees.

050

Sen. Deckert

Asks if there is any precedent where the EPA has levied only one company instead of all the parties involved.

052

Bauer

States he is unaware.

060

Dick Pederson

Land Quality Administrator, Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Provides testimony in opposition to SB 751 and submits written testimony (EXHIBIT E).

165

Jeannette Holman

Assistant Director, Division of State Lands (DSL).  Provides testimony in opposition to SB 751.  States there are strong concerns with shifting the responsibility (liability) to State Agencies.

185

Chair Metsger

Clarifies the language that states that the State of Oregon is the land owner of the Columbia Basin.

190

Sen. Nelson

Asks for the amount in the constitutional funds.

195

Holman

Answers.

200

Sen. Nelson

Asks if the constitutional funds can be touched if the DSL were to be held liable for the clean up of the river.

218

Holman

States it could be done, but litigation would be lengthy.

248

Matt Blevins

Oregon Environmental Council (OEC).  Provides testimony in opposition to the dash one amendments to SB 751.

310

Keith Leavitt

Port of Portland.  Provides testimony of concerns in opposition to the dash one amendments to SB 751.

315

Shirley

Port of Portland.  Provides testimony in opposition to the dash one amendments to SB 751.  Comments on the intent of the lower Willamette Group.  States concerns regarding cost effectiveness and cost control.  Offers to work with DiLorenzo to create the dash two amendments.

TAPE 104, ,B

035

DiLorenzo

Comments on the testimony presented today.  Summarizes the intent of the dash one amendments and states a desire to clarify the dash one amendments with the opponents to settle on wording for the dash two amendments.

160

Chair Metsger

Asks the interested parties to gather and work through their concerns to create dash two amendments.

185

Chair Metsger

Closes the public hearing on SB 751 and adjourns the committee at 10:14 a.m.

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A – SB 751, dash one amendments, Staff, 15 pp

B – SB 751, written testimony, John DiLorenzo, 3 pp

C – SB 751, written testimony, Roger Martin, 2 pp

D – SB 751, written testimony, Rhett Lawrence, 2 pp

E – SB 751, written testimony, Dick Pederson, 2 pp