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Your Help is Needed to Fix Really Bad Flood Management Legislation

The Columbia River Levee System runs from Portland to Troutdale and protects 24,000 acres of historic floodplain from flooding. The system was built more than half a century ago at a time when little or no consideration was given to the environmental impacts of flood control or to working with the natural hydrology of the landscape.

Your Help is Needed to Fix Really Bad Flood Management Legislation

Photo by Scott Carpenter

The Columbia River Levee System runs from Portland to Troutdale and protects 24,000 acres of historic floodplain from flooding. The system was built more than half a century ago at a time when little or no consideration was given to the environmental impacts of flood control or to working with the natural hydrology of the landscape. 

Today, the Columbia River Levee System has significant weaknesses and would not meet re-accreditation requirements established by FEMA and the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Senate Bill 431 proposes to create a new governmental entity to manage the Columbia River Levee System and oversee needed repairs. Unfortunately the legislation is a mess.

Nobody questions the need to keep our communities safe from flooding, but a 21st Century approach to flood management needs to integrate ecological health, environmental justice and climate change. SB 431 creates a new layer of government with broad new powers, including assessing taxes and condemning land, but which is lacking in accountability and transparency and with an exceedingly weak commitment to ecological health, environmental justice and climate change adaptation.

Take Action

Please click here to send a letter to the Oregon Senate Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources to let them know that SB 431 is unacceptable as written and that it should not move forward unless critical deficiencies are addressed. 

The last thing we need is a powerful new government agency to manage our levees and river that lacks clear accountability or clear commitment to ecological and equitable outcomes.

Great Blue Heron
Photo by Hayley Crews
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