BULL RUN WATER SUPPLY HABITAT CONSERVATION PLAN
Binding City Policy
Section 1. The Council finds:
1. Portland has utilized the Bull Run River, a tributary to the larger Sandy River Basin, as an exceptional drinking water source for itself and many of its neighboring communities for over a century. The City shares stewardship responsibilities of the Bull Run watershed and the surrounding management unit with the United States Forest Service.
2. The City's drinking water infrastructure, including two dams, intake structures, roads and treatment facilities, affect anadromous fish species that have used the Bull Run and Sandy rivers as habitat for millennia. These impacts include reductions in water flow and increased water temperatures in the lower Bull Run River during critical spawning and rearing periods, blocked access to historic habitat in the upper Bull Run watershed, and degradation of habitat in the lower Bull Run River.
3. Four anadromous fish species native to the Bull Run and Sandy rivers-- Columbia River Basin winter steelhead, Lower Columbia River Chinook (spring and fall runs), Lower Columbia River coho and Columbia River chum salmon-have been listed by the National Marine Fisheries Service as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Through its use of federal lands and resources in the watershed, the City is required under the ESA to the maximum extent practicable to avoid, minimize or mitigate its impacts to the listed species.
4. The City's ongoing drinking water operations in the Bull Run divert and store water from the river. These actions result in water temperatures that exceed those necessary to support cold water fish. The City is required to manage the temperature of lower Bull Run River in accordance with the water quality requirements of the federal Clean Water Act.
5. In May 2005 the Council directed (Resolution #36319) the Portland Water Bureau to develop a habitat conservation plan in accordance with Section 10 of the federal ESA to obtain long-term regulatory compliance with both the ESA and the water quality requirements of the federal Clean Water Act. Approval of the habitat conservation plan by the National Marine Fisheries Service will result in the City obtaining an Incidental Take Permit which will allow for continued use of the Bull Run River for drinking water supply in compliance with the federal ESA. The water temperature plan in the habitat conservation plan will also bring the City into compliance with the federal Clean Water Act.
6. The Portland Water Bureau has worked with a partnership of federal, state, and local government agencies and non-governmental organizations called the Sandy River Basin Partners to develop a comprehensive and cost-effective set of mitigation actions to address the impacts of Portland's drinking water system on the Bull Run River and larger Sandy River Basin. These actions, now collected and described in the Bull Run Water Supply Habitat Conservation Plan, are intended to complement and build on the actions of other government agencies, community groups and individual land owners to maximize salmon habitat restoration in the basin over the next 50 years.
7. The Portland Water Bureau has submitted its habitat conservation plan to public review and comment in accordance with ESA and the federal National Environmental Policy Act while providing additional opportunities beyond federal requirements. The bureau has created a final version of the plan that includes modifications based on public input.
8. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has reviewed the Bull Run Water Supply Habitat Conservation Plan and determined that its temperature management plan meets the City's water quality protection obligations under the Clean Water Act (as defined in the Sandy River Basin Total Maximum Daily Load document).
9. The National Marine Fisheries Service has reviewed the Water Bureau's final habitat conservation plan, prepared an environmental impact statement according to federal law, and indicated that the City's plan is adequate to address its federal regulatory obligations and will contribute to the recovery of listed fish species.
10. The National Marine Fisheries Service will formally approve the Bull Run Water Supply Habitat Conservation Plan and issue to the City the required ESA Incidental Take Permit only upon execution by the City of an Implementing Agreement by which the City commits to operate its drinking water system consistent with the habitat conservation plan.
NOW THEREFORE, the Council directs:
a) The Commissioner-in-Charge of the Portland Water Bureau is authorized to execute on behalf of the City the Bull Run Water Supply Habitat Conservation Plan Implementing Agreement with the National Marine Fisheries Service (Exhibit A attached).
b) The Portland Water Bureau is directed to implement the measures of the Bull Run Habitat Conservation Plan in accordance with the referenced Implementing Agreement.
c) Funds to implement the measures of the Bull Run Water Supply Habitat Conservation Plan will be allocated on an annual basis through the City's regular budgetary processes.
d) This ordinance is binding City policy.
Ordinance No. 182235, passed by City Council October 1, 2008 and effective October 31, 2008.