Bill to protect waterways from homeless camp pollution

From Senators David Brock Smith, Suzanne Weber, & Representative Virgle Osborne

Senators Brock Smith, Weber, Representative Osborne Introduce Bill Protecting Waterways from Toxic Pollution from Homeless Camps

SALEM, Ore. – Three Senators and twenty other Senators & Representatives have filed legislation that would allow residents to submit a formal complain to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) about human waste, illicit drugs, batteries, and other harmful substances being dumped by homeless camps into state rivers and streams. Upon receiving the complaint, DEQ must investigate and then remove the individuals from camping site and clean camping site as necessary to protect state waters.

“Unbridled, unregulated homeless camps along Oregon’s waterways are out of control,” said Senator David Brock Smith (R-Port Orford). “The hazardous pollution to our salmonid bearing rivers and streams, and the source of drinking water for hundreds of thousands of Oregonians continues to be severely harmed by homeless camps. SB 1086 will finally allow DEQ to enforce Oregon’s environmental and water quality laws on all Oregonians, not just those who can pay a fine.”

“We can no longer wait and have this critical issue continue to harm our state waters,” said Senator Suzanne Weber (R-Tillamook). “We have agricultural, forest, and seafood operations that take great care of their land and water at great expense. Yet they continue to be the subject of environmental advocate and agency scrutiny while the same individuals look the other way as human waste, drugs, and toxic chemicals enter our community’s drinking water. It is past time they provide the equity of which they so often speak of.”

“Having served on the County Planning Commission for years prior to my role as Representative, we have been trying to address this issue and protect our rivers and streams all that time,” said Representative Virgle Osborne (R-Roseburg). This legislation will finally bring the protections we need for our rivers and residents, while bringing accountability to the agency and advocates that have enabled these actions to occur for far too long.”
“Governor McCall forged water quality ahead for all Oregonians just over 50 years ago. I look forward to our environmental groups and democrat colleagues’ support of this critical legislation that will protect Oregon rivers, streams, and drinking water,” concluded Senator Brock Smith.