PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — The biggest supporter of May’s ballot measure to strip control of the Portland Water Bureau from the city has been charged $500,000.
But the move is not about political revenge, according to the city — it’s about illegal dumping.
Documents reveal Portland Bottling Co. has been caught illegally dumping millions of gallons of waste water, for the second time in six years. Furthermore, the company was caught diverting industrial waste water around a City of Portland meter in order to reduce sewer bills in 2008.
Investigators discovered the same practice in fall 2013, resulting in the fee (a fine combined with unpaid services).
“We’ve been working on this since 2007-2008 and the issue was never addressed in the campaign,” said Water Bureau Chief Nick Fish.
The fine was revealed by a Willamette Week report Wednesday, proving the city’s decision was not motivated because it was not brought to light during the election, said Fish.
“I don’t want to politicize this thing. They had every right to support the ballot initiative and from there point of view they had good reasons to do so,” said Fish. Rather, he said it is a breach of trust.
Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency is investigating whether criminal charges may be warranted.
Portland Bottling Company were unavailable for comment, but the company has requested a hearing to challenge the fines.