Date: May 14, 2023 To: All League Members From: Rebecca Gladstone, LWVOR President, Peggy Lynch, Natural Resources Coordinator
This is a key moment to stop HB 3382! Passing this bill would pose a serious threat to Oregon’s largest estuaries, ecologically vital habitat areas where careful land use review is especially important. Share your personal story about why these Ports and critical estuaries are important to you. Ask them NOT to pass HB 3382 even with the -3 amendment. DEADLINE: 5pm May 16 Public Hearing 5pm May 18 for testimony Sign up NOW to testify in person or remotely. Attend the public hearing if possible. Write and submit testimony to the Joint Committee on Transportation before 5pm May 18. CONTACT: Joint Transportation Committee and your State Senator and Representative. HB 3382 exempts major Oregon ports from land use and environmental regulations, including allowing extensive dredging and channel modification in estuaries without local jurisdiction, public input, or environmental review. The current -3 amendment as proposed sets a dangerous precedent, allowing certain interests to fast-track development and bypass input and Oregon’s land use laws that protect communities, ecosystems, and economies across the state. League testimony explains our opposition. LWVOR has strong positions supporting our land use planning program, coastal management, water quality and quantity and climate change. Oregonians expect our elected leaders to support processes that allow public participation and protect Oregon’s special places. This bill says local elected leaders and the public who engaged in Comprehensive Plans, specifically Estuary Management Plans, other planning and zoning requirements and related regulations adopted by a local government…no longer matter. We implore the committee to reject this concept and oppose the bill. Proposed -3 amendment changes allow selected parties to apply for a new Goal 16 exception and provides an extensive list of “purposes” that would automatically be allowed to gain that new Goal 16 exception. Estuaries are nurseries for a wide variety of fish and wildlife species, including our iconic salmon. Eel grass that would be destroyed is essential habitat for many species and functions to improve water quality to support ocean health. HB 3382 is also at odds with Oregon’s Climate Goals by removing critical protections for estuaries, which sequester carbon 10x more efficiently than forests and serve as key species nurseries. The bill as submitted poses an additional threat. Land use regulations as applied to coastal areas are part of Oregon’s integrated Coastal Management Program under the Coastal Zone Management Act. This bill would weaken that program, triggering NOAA review for compliance with the CZMA. The CZMA-approved program provides the state leverage and review when faced with federal projects (including, for example, dredging in a federal navigation channel), as well as funding through CZMA grant programs. The bill could eliminate this “federal consistency” under the CZMA, at least where these estuaries are concerned. Thank you for adding your voice to stop HB 3382.