Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Thursday, October 16, 2014

WOTUS - what does it mean to US?


Waters of the United States

WOe To US!

(Also called WOUS)

Is Lake Oswego in the United States?  Does rain fall in Lake Oswego?  Then Lake Oswego had better be prepared for what is most likely coming this way. This is by far the most controversial and far-reaching regulation the EPA has initiated that so few Americans know about. 

It's not just the State DEQ looking at rivers and streams that are for fishing, drinking and recreation anymore. It goes well beyond any city Sensitive Lands program. The WOTUS rule expands the definition of what water is controlled by the EPA under the Clean Waters Act.  The rule that is proposed would put environmental controls on every swamp, ditch, pond, stream, seasonal creek, lake, river, reservoir, etc.  But it doesn't stop there.  The bill would control all water that flows to any stream, river, lake, etc., With WOUS, potentially everyone could be living on sensitive lands that need regulation.

What's going on at Lake Oswego City Hall?  
Birdshill CPO Chair, Skip Ormsby, alerted the City Council to potential (likely) consequences to the city and residents if the proposed Waters of the US rule is enacted.  Mayor Kent Studabaker asked City Attorney, David Powell, to look into the issue and report back about how WOUS would impact Lake Oswego.  To date, there has been no response from the City Attorney's office despite requests from citizens and council member.  

The Clackamas County Board of Commissioners reviewed the legislation and wrote a letter to the EPA outlining the harm to the county, it's residents and local jurisdictions within its boundaries. The CCBC letter will be posted in the next post as it is not online yet.  The deadline for commenting has been extended for the 3rd time to November 14.  

It is hoped that the LO City Council will draft its own letter opposing the rule, but the time to do so is running out.  All citizens can and should take a moment to comment on the WOUS rule before the deadline (link below).  

Below is an email from Birdshill CPO to the city council and others:

Good Afternoon All:
I am forwarding a Clackamas County letter to the
EPA that states OPPOSITION to proposed
amendments to Clean Water Act labeled 
Waters of the US (contracted WOUS and WU).
Please specify the written response of
the City of Lake Oswego
and Metro Regional Government to WOUS
soonest / ASAP / STAT.  

The comment period for WOUS was recently
extended for a third time 
until 2014 Nov 14 Friday 17:00 R (2:00 PM ET).
EPA website: EPA and Waters of the US
                     Examine lower right corner.
Birdshill webpage: 21Govtstm
     within website: mtbhcn17oct

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