I think a show on DEQ's (and other state agencies') reluctance (failure) to enforce environmental laws and regulations is needed. You touched on this when you interviewed the Attorney General candidates last fall.
Rob Manning had a story on OPB radio last week about DEQ and Oregon Department of Agriculture's failure to enforce water quality rules at Wapato Lake upstream of the Joint Water Commission's Drinking Water Plant south of Forest Grove.
One of the most embarrassing stories on this issue for state agencies was reported in the Sunday Oregonian in November 2005. The story revealed that student volunteers at the Northwest Environmental Defense Center at Lewis & Clark Law School collect more in environmental penalties than DEQ and Oregon Department of Justice combined. You can read this story online at
The proliferation of public service law firms and nonprofits in Oregon taking on environmental enforcement is a telltale sign of the failure of state agencies to take on their mandates. A few examples
[list}Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center
Cascade Resources Advocacy Group
Northwest Environmental Advocates
Western Environmental Law Center
Northwest Environmental Defense Center
Pacific Rivers Council
Water Watch of Oregon[/list]
...and the list goes on. Courts are overloaded because state agencies won't step up and enforce. People downstream are victims of polluters upstream and society subsidizes polluters by cleaning up their messes for them.
Please address this issue in a future edition of Think Out Loud, preferably before the November elections.
Watershed Watch Coordinator
posted 4 years, 9 months ago
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