Major concerns with HB 2437A include:
- Allows removal of up to 3,000 cubic yards of material from Oregon’s streams without a permit: This bill allows the removal of up to 3,000 cubic yards of material per linear mile of intermittent streams over a five year period without having to get a state removal fill permit. This is a 5,900% increase over current law (which has a 50 cubic yard exemption). 3000 cubic yards equals 300 dump trucks of material!
- Allows placement of up to 3,000 cubic yards on wetlands without a permit: The bill allows the placement of up to 3,000 cubic yards of material removed from the stream to be placed on any wetland for up to one year. This is not limited to “converted wetlands” but includes any vibrant, thriving wetland. This undermines decades of work to strengthen Oregon’s wetland laws, regulations and wetland restoration work.
- Puts intermittent streams across the landscape at risk: This bill is not limited to irrigation ditches, but allows removal of 3,000 cubic yards of material from intermittent streams without a permit. Of the 300,878 miles of linear streams in Oregon, 71 percent (213,327 miles) are intermittent or ephemeral. While HB 2437A does not apply to Essential Salmonid Habitat (ESH) for intermittent streams, ESH only covers approximately 8.1% of intermittent streams. This leaves approximately 92% of Oregon’s intermittent streams at risk under this bill.
- No public notice or comment: This bill does not allow for public notice or public comment for projects that will remove up to 3,000 cubic yards from Oregon’s intermittent streams. This material can be dumped on ecologically important wetlands. for up to a year. The waters of this state belong to all citizens of Oregon, but this process ensures that citizens have no voice in the possible destruction of our state’s most treasured resources.