Council to Hear about DEQ Permitting Process


The Hermiston City Council will hear about the implications of a pending DEQ permit for the city’s stormwater management system at tonight’s meeting.

According to Hermiston Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan, once the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issues the permit, the city will be required to meet additional standards.

The DEQ is responsible for regulating Water Pollution Control Facilities, specifically Underwater Injection Control (UIC) Systems. Morgan said there will likely be “a sizeable long-term fiscal impact” to the city from UIC permitting, including ongoing costs associated with new monitoring and testing of stormwater runoff, and capital costs for improvements to existing UICs. Morgan said testing alone will cost the city $15,000 a year.

Morgan, in a memo to the mayor and council, said many cities have implemented stormwater utility fees to offset the costs, however, he is not recommending such a fee until the city can get a better idea of the actual costs to the city.

Also at tonight’s meeting, the council will vote to reduce the Hispanic Advisory Committee membership from nine to seven.

Prior to the meeting, the council will hold at work session at 6 p.m. to go over proposed changes to the city’s charter.

The regular city council meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Hermiston City Hall.