Monthly Archives: February 2018

Announcement: Molalla Violates the Clean Water Act Consent Decree

In Sept. 2015, the City of Molalla signed a binding Consent Decree to settle the Bear Creek Recovery Clean Water Act lawsuit. The Consent Decree was signed by current City Manager Dan Huff and by then Mayor Deb Rogge, with the approval of the Molalla City Council, which included Current Molalla Mayor Jimmy Thompson.

The Consent Decree was expressly designed to require much needed improvements to Molalla’s failing wastewater facilities and to provide transparency via notification of violations to Bear Creek Recovery. BCR agreed to allow fines generated by violations of the Consent Decree to be used to build a  City of Molalla fund to be devoted to I&I (Inflow and Infiltration) and biosolids removal to help improve capacity and wastewater management functions.

Crag Law, on behalf of Bear Creek Recovery, just issued a Notice of Request of Resolution for Violation of Consent Decree that details over six million dollars in potential penalties for known violations of that Decree. The Notice outlines Molalla’s failure to even comply with “simple payment and reporting provisions” and that it has “repeatedly failed to complete required tasks in the timelines…”

The Notice Conclusion states: “It is clear from the nature of the City’s violations… that the City’s wastewater treatment facility is experiencing major capacity issues related to inflow and infiltration, lagoon storage capacity, and new sewer connections…the City has demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to comply with the terms and conditions …that it expressly agreed to in order to improve the operation and maintenance of the facility. If the parties are unable to resolve the issues…Bear Creek Recovery intends to pursue formal contempt proceedings… to seek further injunctive relief and civil penalties…Bear Creek Recovery believes a moratorium on further sewer connections within the City may be appropriate, as well as Court oversight of the City’s actions…”.

The people of Molalla deserve better management of their limited public money than to have managers who consistently fail to uphold legal agreements and who violate wastewater permits. Bear Creek Recovery strives to protect local watersheds and will do everything necessary to enforce permits and the Consent Decree.

Here is the Notice of Request of Resolution for Violation of Consent Decree filed on Feb. 1, 2018: