Update on Fairview Lake Weed Issue

From your local volunteer FLPOA member Anthony DeSimone an update with the Fairview Lake weed issues.

These comments are from meetings I had with George Lingelbach, Mike Johnson and a FLPOA board meeting from 02/23/2012.

Lake Residents:

Update on weeds status.

We have suffered setbacks during March. An environmental lawyer and her organization (Northwest Environmental Advocates) have contested our application to DEQ and have suggested possible legal action. The City of Portland and Columbia Slough Watershed Council have contributed letters to DEQ supporting her. Jim Graybill provided DEQ with a specific response to her objections and point out several “facts” that were wrong or have been outdated.

Subsequently, DEQ returned our application and fees, informing us that our application was being denied due to ‘potential downstream water quality issues’ cited by NEA.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 we met with DEQ to review our plan and their rejection. It was DEQ’s position that instead of the pesticide permit, FLPOA should enter into a mutual agreement with DEQ and downstream stakeholders about our treatment plan.

We are contacting these groups now to attempt finding common ground. Our fear, however, is that this may all happen too late (if at all) to carry out the treatment plan this summer.
We feel that these actions are contestable and do not follow the state and federal guidelines. However, legal action to sustain our rights will be costly and time consuming. We haven’t the money or the time before summer arrives.
During February we changed applicators from AquaTechnex to Northwest Aquatic Eco-Systems. The board is very pleased with Doug Dorling’s plan design, experience and advice. Multnomah County Drainage District also appeared at the DEQ meeting to support our plan.

We continue to pursue the options that remain available to us. We have been granted time on the agenda of the next upcoming Columbia Slough Watershed Council meeting to explain the benefits of our plan for them and the slough. We hope to answer their questions and gain acceptance.

I wish we had better news to report. We will continue to pursue all options available.

Michael Johnson

Following the DEQ meeting we received the following Email from Doug Dorling of Northwest Aquatic Eco-Systems about the meeting and his assessment.

From: pondweeds@comcast.net
Mar 15 (2 days ago)

to me, James, Allan, George, Dennis, Brenda

Board,

Michael has done a nice job in reviewing the meeting. There were some surprising statements but that was expected. The likelihood of treatment this year is slipping by simply because the time line required will be a difficult one to meet. The good news is that the information DEQ is requesting will further support the need to treat and will bolster your case. I am confident that DEQ will eventually issue the FLPOA a permit for treatment.

The Board and FLPOA membership need to remain patient. We have been in business over 35 years and have worked with 100’s of lake associations. Your membership representatives yesterday ranked right at the top with some of the others we have worked with.

Remember this is the first permit of this type being issued in Oregon. The process will be slow and frustrating but we will eventually end up with a permit.

Doug Dorling

Other meeting notes:

1. FLPOA and NWQES have changed the plan to use a fast-acting herbicide that will kill plants within 2-4 days and become inert within 10-12 days. This will allow us to trap all residue within the lake until completely broken down, causing no effect on downstream stakeholders.

2. FLPOA has determined that homes ‘on the creek’ are not required members of FLPOA and will no longer be invoiced.

3. I just wanted to let everyone know that we do have a web site for members to make comments on as well as send lake photos, or just to see what is going on around the lake. I am putting information about the weeds on the FLPOA web site as well.
http://www.fairview-lake.org

Summary: The permit process is now at risk. We are doing everything we can to get it back on track.

End of comments: Please contact a FLPOA board member Mike Johnson or George Lingelbach if you have any questions.

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