Home
Home
News
Events
Get Involved
Contribute
Resources
Contact Us

Friends of the Reservoirs


News

Mt. Tabor Reservoir Independent Review Panel

The following Resolution No. 36196 concerning the Independent Review Panel was adopted by Portland City Council on January 14, 2004.


RESOLUTION NO. 36196

Create and authorize an Independent Review Panel to examine options for meeting the security and regulatory needs of the Mt. Tabor open drinking water reservoirs (Resolution)

WHEREAS, safe drinking water and a secure and reliable drinking water system are essential to the health, safety and economic vitality of Portland and the surrounding metropolitan region; and

WHEREAS, two-thirds of the City of Portland gets its drinking water directly from highly accessible open drinking water reservoirs located in public parks; and

WHEREAS, Portland's open drinking water reservoirs and surrounding structures hold significant aesthetic and historic value to park neighbors and visitors; and

WHEREAS, Portland's open drinking water reservoirs are aging water storage facilities nearly one hundred years old with significant seismic and other large scale infrastructure issues; and

WHEREAS, two separate security vulnerability assessments of the Portland water system indicate that Portland's open drinking water reservoirs are the most vulnerable points in the water system to contamination both incidental and intentional; and

WHEREAS, the United States Environmental Protection Agency is developing new drinking water rules to address viral contamination of drinking water and requiring water systems with open drinking water reservoirs to achieve this by either covering the open reservoirs, installing water treatment facilities to inactivate viral contaminants in the water before it flows to City taps or enacting risk mitigation plans sufficient to address physical access to and contamination of the exposed drinking water; and

WHEREAS, in May, 2002, the Portland City Council approved installation of buried water storage to replace the Mt. Tabor open drinking water reservoirs and construction of park improvements above the tanks to maintain the aesthetic and historic values associated with the reservoirs; and

WHEREAS, citizens concerned with the aesthetic and historical impacts of burying the open drinking water reservoirs are interested in having further review of the City's options for addressing the security and regulatory needs of the City's reservoirs; and

WHEREAS, the Portland Water Bureau is prepared to make significant capital investments in the current approach to address the vulnerability of the open drinking water reservoirs: and

WHEREAS, an independent review of the viable options for addressing the security and regulatory issues of the open drinking water reservoirs will assist the City Council in either maintaining its original decision to bury or choosing to implement another viable approach.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City Council approves the creation of an Independent Review Panel, comprised of diverse members of the Portland community, to review and evaluate the technical merits, cost-benefits, and community impacts of the following five options for meeting the security needs and federal regulatory requirements at the Mt. Tabor open drinking water reservoirs:

  1. Installation of buried reservoirs with park improvements above,
  2. Installation of buried reservoirs without making park improvements,
  3. Installation of water treatment facilities where drinking water exits the reservoir outlets,
  4. Removal of the reservoirs from use and finding replacement storage in the drinking water system, and
  5. Creation and implementation of specific state approved risk mitigation plans that will address physical access, surface water runoff and contamination risks to the reservoirs as well as security issues raised in vulnerability assessments; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Council directs the Independent Review Panel to produce a report to Council 90 days following the panel's first meeting, with a consensus recommendation of a preferred option or, if that is not possible, findings on all of the options listing the advantages and disadvantages of each; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that following a public hearing and City Council acceptance of the Independent Review Panel Report, the City Council shall either decide to continue with the existing plan to bury the Mt. Tabor reservoirs with park improvements or to proceed with one of the other options listed above for addressing security needs, achieving regulatory compliance, and the long-term infrastructure needs of these facilities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that following a public hearing and City Council acceptance of the Independent Review Panel Report, the Panel's work shall be deemed complete and the Panel shall be dissolved; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all costs associated with the Independent Review Panel, including contracting with a facilitator and an independent technical advisor, will be funded by the Portland Water Bureau; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the following are appointed by Council to serve as the Independent Review Panel: Ogden Beeman (Chair), Eileen Brady, Vanessa Gaston, Dr. William Glaze, Representative Steve March, Dave Mazza, Steffeni Mendoza-Gray, Sandra K. McDonough, Dr. Gary Oxman, Frank Ray, Captain James Spitzer, Tiffany Sweitzer and Tom Walsh; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Ogden Beeman, Eileen Brady, Captain James Spitzer and Tom Walsh will serve as the selection committee to choose a facilitator to assist the Independent Review Panel through a regular City of Portland Request for Qualifications procurement process; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Ogden Beeman, Eileen Brady, Dr. William Glaze and Captain James Spitzer will serve as the selection committee to choose an independent technical advisor to assist the Independent Review Panel through a regular City of Portland Request for Qualifications procurement process.

Adopted by the Council, January 14, 2004

GARY BLACKMER
Auditor of the City of Portland

Commissioner Dan Saltzman
By /S/Susan Parsons
Edward Campbell
January 8, 2004
Deputy