SENATE COMMITTEE ON WATER AND LAND USE

 

 

March 31, 2003                                                                                                       Hearing Room D

3:00 PM                                                                                                                          Tapes 37-39

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Ted Ferrioli, Chair

                                                Sen. Charlie Ringo, Vice-Chair

Sen. Jason Atkinson

Sen. Rick Metsger

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Judith Callens, Committee Administrator

Megan Jensen, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURE/ISSUES HEARD:           SB 845 Public Hearing

                                                SB 846 Public Hearing

                                                SB 682 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 37, A

005

Chair Ferrioli

Calls meeting to order at 3:05 p.m. and opens public hearing on SB 845.

SB 845 – PUBLIC HEARING

015

Matt Blevins

Oregon Environmental Council. Provides testimony in support of SB 845 (EXHIBIT A). Discusses water pollution issues in Oregon.

030

Chair Ferrioli

Asks if he is referring to section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act.

031

Blevins

Affirms.

032

Chair Ferrioli

Asks what percentage of the 303(d) List is listed for temperature standards.

034

Blevins

Responds that he is unsure of the percentage.

035

Chair Ferrioli

Comments that characterizing how the streams are 303(d) listed should be done carefully.

050

Blevins

Offers to provide more information.

055

Chair Ferrioli

Clarifies that pollution should be connected to a 303(d) List.

060

Blevins

Continues testimony in support of SB 845:

  • Lack of money puts Oregon first nationwide in expired permits
  • Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) no longer meets its own goals for inspections
  • Not having up-to-date permits has environmental implications because old permits don’t incorporate the newest standards and safeguards
  • Full fee funding would not harm the economy
  • Providing technical assistance would help small businesses understand and comply with the law

101

Chair Ferrioli

Inquires if permit holders are obligated to provide notice to DEQ of their violations because they are operating outside their permit authority.

103

Blevins

Responds that he is unsure.

104

Chair Ferrioli

Clarifies that permit holders are obligated to provide notice to DEQ.

106

Sen. Ringo

Asks if permit fees would increase by 70% if SB 845 passed.

108

Blevins

Responds that fees would increase by approximately 57% to 70%.

110

Sen. Ringo

Inquires where Oregon’s permit fees rank compared to neighboring states.

113

Blevins

Explains that Oregon would be below the national average with a 70% increase.

117

Sen. Ringo

Asks about concerns that Oregon’s inability to enforce regulations will cause problems complying with federal regulations.

123

Blevins

Replies that there is concern that the program will continue.

126

Sen. Ringo

Clarifies that if Oregon doesn’t protect its own resources, the federal agencies will take over.

128

Blevins

Affirms.

132

Sen. Atkinson

Asks if DEQ supports SB 845.

135

Blevins

Explains that DEQ  recognizes the need for more resources.

141

Sen. Atkinson

Inquires if DEQ was satisfied with the 20% increase from the 2001 legislative session.

144

Blevins

Believes DEQ is not able to operate the program as it would like to.

146

Sen. Atkinson

Inquires who the larger fee payers will be.

149

Blevins

Lists a variety of facilities.

153

Sen. Atkinson

Asks if penalties for violations are too low to deter future behavior.

166

Blevins

Explains that the penalty fees are not sufficient deterrents.

170

Sen. Atkinson

Discusses low penalty fees.

180

John Ledger

Associated Oregon Industries. Provides testimony against SB 845. States that full cost recovery of administering the disposal permit program will cause problems for municipal wastewater dischargers.

220

Chair Ferrioli

Asks for clarification on quoted figures.

223

Ledger

Industry and municipalities carry a contaminate load containing 15% point source pollution.

229

Sen. Ringo

Asks about the other 85%.

232

Ledger

Explains that 85% of contamination comes from non-point sources. Continues discussion of fee increases. States that Oregon’s restrictions on water are more stringent than the federal government mandates.

275

Sen. Ringo

Asks about restricted chemicals.

279

Ledger

Responds that the list includes many toxics and metals. Summarizes testimony against SB 845 and restates AOI’s opposition to SB 845.

298

Sen. Ringo

Confirms that 85% of pollution comes from non-point sources.

300

Ledger

Affirms.

313

Sen. Ringo

Asks for AOI’s suggestion on how to handle the non-point source pollution.

315

Ledger

Comments on methods of managing of non-point source pollution.

320

Sen. Ringo

Inquires if AOI supports the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) process.

322

Ledger

States AOI supports the TMDL process completely.

360

Sen. Ringo

Asks about Washington’s fee system.

365

Ledger

Explains that he is not familiar with Washington’s program

375

Ken Yates

Northwest Food Processors Association, Oregon Food Processors Council. Provides testimony against SB 845 (EXHIBIT B):

·         Regulated community shouldering entire cost of waste water permit program is poor public policy

·         General fund portion of the program has decreased

·         Water waste permit fees are in addition to the hundreds of thousands of dollars food processing companies already spend on pollution prevention

·         Works against the concept of environmental sustainability

TAPE 38, A

003

Sen. Ringo

Asks if he believes that permit backlogs are a problem.

005

Yates

Affirms.

010

Sen. Ringo

Asks for solution recommendations.

016

Yates

Believes a fee increases is necessary.

026

Ledger

Discusses recent changes with DEQ.

038

Sen. Ringo

Asks if a 20% increase gives DEQ the resources it needs.

046

Yates

Responds that DEQ can sustain the program at adequate levels.

048

Sen. Ringo

Asks if he believes there is a backlog.

050

Yates

Agrees and believes fee increases are necessary to maintain the program.

061

Sen. Ringo

Asks about the TMDL program.

066

Ledger

Clarifies the TMDL process.

068

Sen. Ringo

Asks about point source pollution.

070

Ledger

Explains point source pollution as it relates to the TMDL process.

082

Chair Ferrioli

Comments on point sources and TMDLs as they relate to the backlog of permits.

095

Sen. Ringo

Restates his assertion that permit backlogs are creating a problem.

106

Ledger

Clarifies that “expired” means that the permit is up for renewal but not defunct.

112

Sen. Ringo

Asks about FTE positions cut from the program.

120

Ledger

Defers to DEQ.

130

Willie Tiffany

League of Oregon Cities. Provides testimony in support of SB 845 (EXHIBIT C). Discusses the DEQ fee process.

175

Sen. Ringo

Inquires what SB 845 means to the League of Oregon Cities.

182

Tiffany

Explains that DEQ cannot articulate where department resources are spent.

189

Sen. Ringo

Inquires if he would like to know exactly what DEQ programs the permit fees support.

192

Tiffany

Affirms and elaborates.

204

Sen. Ringo

Asks about financial impacts on cities by SB 845.

205

Tiffany

Explains that cities would have to increase rates to industrial customers or decrease the level of service that municipalities provide to industrial customers.

217

Chair Ferrioli

Asks if municipalities use the largest volumes of water.

220

Tiffany

Affirms.

223

Chair Ferrioli

Believes the issue is that municipalities would bear the burden of the fee increases.

225

Tiffany

Affirms.

228

Sen. Ringo

Confirms that one option is to pass the increased costs on to industrial users.

230

Tiffany

Affirms.

234

Sen. Atkinson

Asks how many cities contract with Stormwater Management in Portland.

236

Tiffany

Responds that he is not familiar with Stormwater Management.

238

Ledger

Explains that he is not familiar with Stormwater Management.

240

Sen. Atkinson

Wonders why the world’s leading water technology companies do not operate in Oregon.

268

Chair Ferrioli

Inquires if businesses currently pay disproportional costs for pollution.

277

Ledger

Responds that businesses pay an acceptable cost.

287

Chair Ferrioli

Talks about point versus non-point source pollution.

312

Sen. Ringo

Talks about sources of pollution and the need to find global solutions.

345

Rhett Lawrence

Oregon State Public Interest Research Group. Provides testimony in support of SB 845 (EXHIBHT D). States that DEQ requires adequate funding to carry out its water programs and suggests that the polluters should pay for pollution problems.

398

Sen. Ringo

Asks if the figure of 85% non-point source pollution refers to the volume or toxicity.

404

Lawrence

Responds that he is unfamiliar with the figures.

TAPE 37, B

018

Sen. Ringo

States that storm water pollution is much less concentrated than industrial waste.

020

Chair Ferrioli

Discusses pollution issues.

048

Sen. Ringo

Comments on pollution issues.

062

Chair Ferrioli

States that the plan to reduce pollution should not rest on the extermination of industry in Oregon.

077

Sen. Atkinson

Discusses the lack of clean water technologies in Oregon.

120

Kathryn VanNatta

Northwest Pulp and Paper Association. Provides testimony against SB 845 and agrees with policy issues raised in previous testimony. Talks about financial incentives to improve water quality.

192

Sen. Metsger

Asks if she opposes SB 845 in its entirety.

194

VanNatta

Affirms and elaborates.

215

Mike Llewelyn

DEQ Water Quality Division. Discusses DEQ budget issues.

230

Sen. Ringo

Asks for clarification about point source and non-point source pollution.

235

Llewelyn

Explains that of the 15% of the water bodies that are impaired by point source pollution, 54% of the cleanup is funded by fees. Explains DEQ resource levels and options for funding the permit program.

281

Chair Ferrioli

Asks about TMDLs.

284

Llewelyn

Explains that currently TMDLs are being worked on but will not be adopted until there is clarity on DEQ’s request for a stay.

293

Chair Ferrioli

Asks about permit renewal backlogs relating to TMDLs.

297

Llewelyn

Clarifies that the backlog is not the result of holding permits for the TMDL program.

318

Chair Ferrioli

Asks if the loss of two FTE positions has created the backlog of permits.

322

Llewelyn

States that the permit backlog existed prior to the elimination of two FTE positions.

324

Sen. Ringo

Asks if DEQ’s 60% fee increase request from last session was a necessary increase.

326

Llewelyn

Affirms.

329

Sen. Ringo

Asks if DEQ could use another fee increase to pay for some programs.

330

Llewelyn

Explains the background of current fee increase request.

339

Chair Ferrioli

Asks if the new DEQ director has presented staffing requirements.

342

Llewelyn

Affirms.

343

Chair Ferrioli

States that all previous staffing requests are now moot.

350

Llewelyn

Believes that 54 FTE positions cannot eliminate the backlog and explains that the DEQ director is in the process of streamlining DEQ.

359

Chair Ferrioli

Closes public hearing on SB 845.

The following prepared testimony is submitted for the record without public testimony for SB 845:

 

Seth Karpinski

Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT E).

SB 846 – PUBLIC HEARING

377

Vice-Chair Ringo

Opens public hearing on SB 846

380

Judith Callens

Gives overview of SB 846.

385

Matt Blevins

Oregon Environmental Council. Provides testimony in support of SB 846 (EXHIBIT F). States that the audit will assist in increasing the effectiveness, efficiency and coordination of our water-related programs, which is vital to the health of Oregon’s rivers and streams.

TAPE 38, B

031

Vice-Chair Ringo

Asks if the audits should be regular occurrences.

036

Blevins

Responds that a one-time group of audits would be beneficial.

040

Vice-Chair Ringo

Asks about the number of programs that need to be audited.

045

Blevins

Offers to provide that information.

050

Cathy Pollino

Secretary of State Audit Division. Provides information on SB 846. Explains performance audits and program audits.

082

Vice-Chair Ringo

Inquires about ways to study the cost effectiveness of discovering inefficiencies to pay for the audit.

090

Pollino

Explains that some audits discover cost savings and some do not.

102

Vice-Chair Ringo

Asks about the fiscal impact if SB 846 covered only performance audits.

104

Pollino

Replies that it is difficult to estimate the cost of the audits.

108

Vice-Chair Ringo

Inquires about the fiscal impact if SB 846 covered only program audits.

110

Pollino

Reiterates that it is difficult to estimate the cost of the audits.

120

John Ledger

Associated Oregon Industries. Provides testimony against SB 846. Believes DEQ is addressing issues adequately and audits are unnecessary.

153

Kathryn VanNatta

Northwest Pulp and Paper Association. Provides testimony against SB 846. Believes DEQ does not need an audit process.

170

Vice-Chair Ringo

Inquires if there should be more money for permits.

173

VanNatta

States that she is unsure if increasing the number of FTE positions at this point will help DEQ.

200

Jo Emrick

Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF). Provides testimony against SB 846 (EXHIBIT G):

  • The additional expense of an audit is not justified and would duplicate information that is already available through ODF’s water quality sufficiency analysis
  • Extra agency personnel would be required to gather information for the audit
  • The bill does not specify how frequently the audits would be performed and the focus of the audit is too broad

230

Adam Sussman

Water Resources Department. Provides testimony against SB 846 (EXHIBIT H). Believes the audit proposed in SB 846 could result in a fiscal impact of anywhere from $3,000 to $140,000 that is not included in the Governor’s budget.

240

Vice-Chair Ringo

Closes public hearing on SB 846.

245

Chair Ferrioli

Opens public hearing on SB 682.

SB 682 – PUBLIC HEARING

255

Chair Ferrioli

Provides an overview of SB 682.

265

Kathleen Dewoina

Marion County. Provides testimony in support of SB 682. Discusses limiting the assessment and collection of system development charges for infill development or redevelopment in existing subdivisions or land partitions in which capital improvements are available. Provides an example of the issue in Marion County.

TAPE 39, A

005

Dewoina

Continues testimony against SB 682. States support for encouragement of private citizens to invest in the improvement of their communities. Believes that SB 682 will encourage and allow infill development.

085

Chair Ferrioli

Asks about charges assessed by a municipality.

090

Dewoina

Explains the charges.

130

Dave Moss

Musgo-Monk Enterprises. Provides testimony in support of SB 682 (EXHIBIT I). Believes that small infill projects do not put measurable demands on existing facilities and should not be prohibitively taxed.

230

Michelle Deister

League of Oregon Cities. Provides testimony against SB 682. Expresses concerns and believes infill developments do have an impact on existing facilities and should be charged accordingly.

270

Eric Johansen

City of Portland. Provides testimony against SB 682 and expresses two concerns:

  • SB 682 results in an inequitable sharing of the capital costs associated with providing the necessary services such as water, sewers, streets and parks
  • SB 682 results in certain categories of new development being subject to system development charges while other new development becomes exempt.

305

Richard Reid

Alternatives to Growth Oregon. Provides testimony against SB 682. Believes SB 682 creates problems by establishing a different criteria for system development charges for infill.

345

Chair Ferrioli

Comments on SB 682 and believes the economics of encouraging higher density living should be incorporated into public policy.

393

Johansen

Comments on local control.

399

Chair Ferrioli

Believes that local controls do not always work.

423

Deister

Remarks on incentives to encourage high density growth.

 

Chair Ferrioli

Summarizes SB 682. Closes public hearing on SB 682 and adjourns meeting at 5:24 p.m.

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A – SB 845, written testimony, Matt Blevins, 2 pp.

B – SB 845, written testimony, Ken Yates, 2 p.

C – SB 845, written testimony, Willie Tiffany, 1 p.

D – SB 845, written testimony, Rhett Lawrence, 2 pp.

 

The following exhibit is listed in the tape log:

E – SB 845, written testimony, Seth Karpinski, 2 pp.

 

F – SB 846, written testimony, Matt Blevins, 2 pp.

G – SB 846, written testimony, Jo Emrick, 17 pp.

H – SB 846, written testimony, Adam Sussman, 1 p.

I – SB 682, written testimony, Dave Moss, 2 pp.