Major Wins for Oregon in 2020 Water Resources Bill

Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, announced yesterday that the Senate’s 2020 water resources legislation contains major victories for communities across Oregon.

Merkley has spent months working with community leaders all over the state developing detailed proposals to address local challenges. As a member of the EPW Committee, Merkley was involved in bipartisan negotiations to develop this legislation, and fought hard to include Oregon’s priorities.

The draft legislation passed the Senate EPW Committee with significant bipartisan support yesterday.

The local projects that will be assisted by this provision are:

  • Hood River Salmon Recovery: Study existing habitat conditions and recommend actions that will improve salmon habitat functions at the mouth of the Hood River and its confluence with the Columbia River;
  • Dredging at the Coquille River/Port of Bandon: Study how the Corps can assist the Port of Bandon with an increase in silting and shoaling adjacent to, but outside of, the federal channel, which is currently dredged by the Corps;
  • Dredging at the Port of Astoria: Study the capability of the Corps to increase the frequency and depth of its dredging of the Port to allow the Port to focus on its landside infrastructure.

“From coastal communities whose ports power their local economies, to cities and towns all across Oregon that need clean and affordable drinking water, this legislation is a big victory for Oregon,” said Merkley. “Water is essential to our health and our economy. I fought for major investments in our water and port infrastructure because these investments will create jobs now and benefit our communities’ well-being for many years into the future.”

With committee passage yesterday, the next step for the legislation is consideration by the full Senate.