State rejects Portland request for reservoir delay

Published:

 

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- State officials have denied a request by the City of Portland to delay a deadline for replacing five uncovered reservoirs that store treated drinking water.

The Oregon Health Authority notified Portland Water Bureau officials of the decision on Thursday.

Public health officials say uncovered reservoirs increase the danger of disease outbreaks, and Portland had agreed to finish replacing them by 2020. In February, the city requested a delay until 2026.

The state can extend the deadline if the city shows it has been making progress but bad weather, supply shortages or other uncontrollable factors have delayed the work. State officials say Portland has not shown any specific circumstances not known earlier.

Portland says it requested an extension because such large construction projects are challenging.