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EWEB: We are focused on resiliency

by Jen Connors, EWEB Communications Team

This past year reminded us all of the importance of preparing for emergencies. The Covid-19 pandemic alongside a devastating wildfire in our watershed tested our community’s resiliency and ability to manage multiple risks.

At EWEB, when we speak of “resiliency,” we don’t mean preventing damage. No infrastructure can be completely immune to disruption from storms, earthquakes, or other extreme events. Rather, resiliency measures enable electric and water systems to continue operating despite damage or return quickly to normal operations when outages do occur.

As climate change increases the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, EWEB is serious about making the necessary investments to ensure we can provide safe and reliable water and electricity.

Our Resiliency Priorities
* Improving extreme weather preparedness and response
* Replacing and reinforcing aging infrastructure
* Developing redundant power and water sources and alternative delivery infrastructure

Learn more about investments in drinking water, electric system resiliency, and wildfire safety.

Prepare to Protect
Each September, we set aside some time think about preparedness and what it means for EWEB, our customers and our community. The theme for this year’s National Preparedness Month is “Prepare to Protect,” which highlights how preparing for disaster is one way to protect what we love—our families, our homes, our neighbors, and our community.

This year, EWEB is featuring a series of public service announcements on our social media channels designed to share how we are preparing our water and electric supply and infrastructure to be more resilient to the challenges we face – and what community members can do to be ready. We have also created a new National Preparedness Month website that features tips and resources such as:

* How to find the Emergency Water Station closest to your home
* Wildfire safety and prevention
* Preparing for winter storms
* Tips for landlords
* How to join the Pledge to Prepare
* EWEB’s backup generator program

Be sure to check out EWEB’s National Preparedness Month website and follow us for preparedness tips and resources.

National Preparedness Month
https://www.facebook.com/EWEButility

Sign up for the Southeast Neighbors Preparedness Committee

Check out our Wildfire Evacuation Tabletop Exercise

EWEB to mitigate dust blowing off trucks

Sept. 8, 2021

by the EWEB East 40th Water Storage Project Team

What’s happening at the site?

Site preparation activities are still underway and on schedule. Crews are removing approximately 15 feet of top soil in preparation for the next phase of excavation.

Updates on controlled blasting and inspections

Once the soil is removed, controlled drilling and blasting will be used to loosen and fragment in-place rock materials to a size that can be removed, transported, or crushed.

As of today, the contractor anticipates that drilling and blasting will begin during the first or second week of October.

During the next few weeks, the contractor will submit to EWEB a blasting safety plan, vibration monitoring plan, and work schedule. The plans and work schedule will be shared with neighbors and posted on our website.

Pre-blast inspections of structures and privately-owned residences will be offered to neighbors within 500 feet of the areas to be blasted. The purpose of the inspection is to document the condition of structures, foundations, and windows prior to exposure to potential vibration from blasting.

EWEB will work with the contractor to contact property owners to schedule pre-blast inspections. The inspections are conducted by a third-party contractor who specializes in this work. There is no charge to the property owner and inspections are optional, but highly encouraged.

As of today, pre-blast inspections are planned to start Sept. 20. Soon we will contact neighbors who are within the 500 foot boundary with detailed information and instructions for signing up for inspections.

Save the date: Sept. 20 neighbor meeting with contractor — SIGN-UP REQUIRED

On Sept. 20, we will host a series of small group in-person meetings for those interested in meeting the contractor. The blasting contractor will attend to share information and answer questions about the blasting process, safety plan, schedule, etc. We will also discuss construction details and mitigation for the excavation phase of the project.

For COVID-19 safety reasons, we will ask neighbors to sign-up in advance to attend small group sessions (4-6 people per session). Look for more information and a link to sign-up in our next email update. Social distancing and a face coverings will be required. And if you can’t make the meeting or choose not to attend, we will follow-up with an email summarizing the conversations.

Construction Reports & Follow-up Actions

Report: Dust blowing off trucks

Action:
We addressed this with the contractor. They are going to ensure loads are “contained” within the trucks so soil does not come out while driving. They are also going to try wetting the loads as they leave the site to minimize dust. Gravel was also added at the Patterson St. entrance as a dust control measure.

Report: Hose from new hydrant leaking

Action:
Contractor will replace that section of hose.
Reminders regarding general construction impacts

Workers, trucks, and equipment will generally begin arriving on-site around 7 a.m.

We will only do work during hours that the City of Eugene noise ordinance allows and we will communicate work hours as the work progresses.

Truck noise such as beeping is not easily mitigated as that is an OSHA-required safety feature and needs to be loud enough for someone to hear while wearing hearing protection. When possible, trucks will be routed around the site to avoid the need to back up.

While we can’t anticipate or mitigate all impacts, we will be responsive to your questions, suggestions, or concerns. Please reach out to us directly so that we can quickly address any issues that arise by email at water.storage@eweb.org or by phone at 541-685-7899.

If you have questions or input, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the project team at 541-685-7899 or water.storage@eweb.org. Emails sent to this address will reach:

Laura Farthing, Project Manager/Senior Civil Engineer
Jen Connors, Communications Supervisor
Jeannine Parisi, Customer Relationship Manager
Wally McCullough, Water Engineering Supervisor

City postpones Aug. 27 ‘E-bike Expo’

Due to rising COVID-19 case numbers in Lane County, and recommendations from City of Eugene leadership, the City’s E-Bike Expo planned for August 27 is being postponed until we can more safely gather together.

Due to rising COVID-19 case numbers in Lane County, and recommendations from City of Eugene leadership, the City’s E-Bike Expo planned for August 27 is being postponed until we can more safely gather together.

3 free Zoom workshops on electric vehicles coming this fall

Are you curious about electric vehicles (EVs)? Have questions, need answers about EVs? Interested in a new or used EV with a 200+ mile range?

rEV Up! workshops teach the basics of owning an electric vehicle, new or used.

In September and October, the Emerald Valley Electric Vehicle Association (EVEVA) will be hosting three more sessions of our workshop to introduce local residents to the benefits and technology of owning an EV. The free workshops, led by experienced local EV owners, will be delivered via live Zoom video conference.

  • Tuesday, Sept. 14, 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 29, noon
  • Saturday, Oct. 16, 10 a.m.

To register, see the Facebook event or visit revuporegon.org.

EWEB to resume logging for East 40th Water Storage Project

by EWEB’s Water Storage Project team

On Wednesday, Aug. 18, the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) lifted the temporary stay, clearing the way for work to continue on the water storage project.

Site preparation activities will resume on Thursday, Aug. 19 including prepping and felling the remaining trees within the construction footprint, stump removal, and ­­other work to prepare the site for excavation.

Reminders regarding general construction impacts

Workers, trucks, and equipment will generally begin arriving on-site around 7 a.m.

We will only do work during hours that the City of Eugene noise ordinance allows and we will communicate work hours as the work progresses.

Truck noise such as beeping is not easily mitigated as that is an OSHA-required safety feature and needs to be loud enough for someone to hear while wearing hearing protection. When possible, trucks will be routed around the site to avoid the need to back up.

While we can’t anticipate or mitigate all impacts, we will be responsive to your questions, suggestions, or concerns. Please reach out to us directly so that we can quickly address any issues that arise by email at water.storage@eweb.org or by phone at 541-685-7899.

Reminders regarding precautions related to fire risk

While there are no tree removal restrictions within the Eugene Urban Growth Boundary per City fire code, EWEB will adhere to the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) restrictions and is taking other proactive risk mitigation measures. The contractors will adhere to the Industrial Fire Precautions (IFPL) work schedule, continuously monitor conditions throughout the day, and adjust work and mitigation strategies accordingly.

Additionally:

A new hydrant was installed at the west entrance of the property. This gives the contractor a path to install a fire hose across the site to have water available throughout construction.

The contractor will have two water trucks onsite, one dedicated for fire mitigation and one for dust mitigation.

The contractor is removing the vegetation around the work zone down to the bare ground and installing rock up to the tree line. This reduces fire risk and helps with dust mitigation.

A minimum 3-hour fire watch will be provided by the contractor after work stops for the day.

EWEB has been communicating with the Eugene Fire Department regarding schedule and mitigation plans. They are aware of the work and the work schedule and will be ready to respond if an issue should arise, as well as to consult with us if a red flag warning goes into effect in the area.

EWEB halts logging at East 40th site while LUBA reviews permit

You may be wondering why there has been no construction activity on-site since early Monday afternoon.
On August 2, the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) received a notice of intent to appeal the erosion prevention permit that was issued by the City on July 30, 2021. Later that day, EWEB received an interim stay issued by LUBA which temporarily halts work while LUBA reviews the merits of the appeal.
We want to assure neighbors that we have adhered to all land use requirements. We are coordinating with our legal counsel to work through the LUBA process so that we can resume work on this project to provide secure, reliable water storage.

We have been advised by legal counsel that downed trees are not part of the LUBA order, and that we can proceed with limited clean-up work.

On Wednesday morning, the contractor will be back on site removing limbs and stockpiling logs. Trucks and crews will begin arriving at the site around 7 a.m. and work will begin at or close to 8 a.m.

Consistent with LUBA’s order we will not be doing any additional tree felling or stump removal at this time.

We are unsure how long the stay will be in place. However, the LUBA order requires responses to be submitted by Monday, Aug. 9. We will share more information as it becomes available.
In the meantime, you may see some limited activity on the site unrelated to tree work. For example, the contractor will be installing more rock for erosion prevention in anticipation of rain in the forecast, and we will be making some repairs to an area of fencing that was damaged.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the East 40th Water Storage Project team with your questions and ideas. Call 541-685-7899 or email  water.storage@eweb.org to reach the whole team:
  • Laura Farthing, Project Manager/Senior Civil Engineer
  • Jen Connors, Communications Supervisor
  • Jeannine Parisi, Customer Relationship Manager
  • Wally McCullough, Water Engineering Supervisor

EWEB East 40th logging crews will follow all fire precautions

As construction begins on two new water storage tanks near E. 40th and Patterson St., we are taking extra precautions related to fire risk.

While there are no tree removal restrictions within the Eugene Urban Growth Boundary per City fire code, EWEB will adhere to the Oregon Department of Forestry Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) restrictions and is taking other proactive risk mitigation measures.

The contractors will strictly adhere to the IFPL work schedule (no fire-risk activity after 1 p.m.), continuously monitor conditions throughout the day, and adjust work and mitigation strategies accordingly.

Additionally:

  • A new hydrant was installed at the west entrance of the property. This gives the contractor a path to install a fire hose across the site to have water available throughout construction.
  • The contractor will have two water trucks onsite, one dedicated for fire mitigation and one for dust mitigation.
  • The contractor is removing the vegetation around the work zone down to the bare ground and installing rock up to the tree line. This reduces fire risk and helps with dust mitigation.
  • A minimum 3-hour fire watch will be provided by the contractor after work stops for the day. Additionally, EWEB will have 24/7 security at the site who will be able to call 911 and EWEB’s security lead if they see anything concerning after fire-watch.
  • EWEB has been communicating with the Eugene Fire Department regarding schedule and mitigation plans. They are aware of the work and the work schedule and will be ready to respond if an issue should arise, as well as to consult with us if a red flag warning goes into effect in the area.

Reminders regarding other E. 40th construction impacts

Workers, trucks, and equipment will generally begin arriving on-site around 7 a.m. Construction noise from chain saws and other tree removal equipment will be mostly limited to the hours of 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. per the IFPL work restrictions during this phase of work.

Truck noise such as beeping is not easily mitigated as that is an OSHA-required safety feature and needs to be loud enough for someone to hear while wearing hearing protection. When possible, trucks will be routed around the site to avoid the need to back up.

Hauling will be being done in phases rather than continuously throughout the work. Hauling times will be limited to the hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The logs will be hauled offsite via Patterson St, to E. 40th and then down Hilyard St.

During hauling, EWEB is prohibiting on street parking to allow for two-way traffic and allow access by neighbors. Safety was reiterated during the preconstruction meeting with the contractor, and an additional meeting will take place with the truck drivers the first day they are on-site to discuss safety and caution, particularly near Tugman Park.

Safety is priority #1. While we can’t anticipate or mitigate all impacts, we will be responsive to your questions or concerns. Please reach out to us directly so that we can quickly address any issues that arise by email at water.storage@eweb.org or by phone at 541-685-7899.

Youth crew assists with invasive weed removal

In late July, Coast Fork Willamette Watershed Council’s Youth Conservation Crew performed invasive weed removal work at the E. 40th water storage site. Blackberry and other invasive weeds are common ladder fuels for wildfire and hamper forest health.

The property, which EWEB purchased in the 1950s specifically for future water storage, is more than 10 acres and only around 2.5 acres will be used for the tanks. The rest of the property will remain in its current natural state or enhanced.

Our goal is to improve the safety, reliability, and resiliency of our community’s drinking water while designing a space that fits the neighborhood and aligns with broader community needs.

Contact us with questions

If you have questions or input, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the project team at 541-685-7899 or water.storage@eweb.org. Emails sent to this address will reach:

Laura Farthing, Project Manager/Senior Civil Engineer
Jen Connors, Communications Supervisor
Jeannine Parisi, Customer Relationship Manager
Wally McCullough, Water Engineering Supervisor

EWEB: NWYC onsite July 28-29; logging trucks will use Hilyard

East 40th Water Storage Project Update:

This week, Northwest Youth Corps will be at the East 40th site doing invasive weed removal. Blackberry and other invasive weeds are common ladder fuels for wildfire and hamper forest health. Expect to see Northwest Youth Corps on-site July 28-29.

Fencing is in progress around the construction zone on the northeast side of the property. The west and south sides of the property will remain open to the public during most phases of construction. The fencing will remain in place throughout construction (2.5 – 3 years).

During the last week of July, equipment will arrive at the site. Once the equipment arrives, a 24×7 security contractor will be onsite (in a truck parked near the Patterson St. entrance). The security is there to keep equipment safe and is a temporary measure until we have a more frequent presence at the site.

Tree removal will begin in early August. The process to take down, chip and haul wood will take approximately 3-4 weeks. During that time, there will be chainsaw noise, chipper noise, and truck traffic. Work will not begin before 8 a.m. and will be complete by 4 p.m. Monday – Friday.

Approximately 75% of the trees on the site will be left standing. Only the trees in the footprint of the tanks are being removed.

We are keeping all of the downed wood in the community. When possible, we will create snags and leave downed trees on the site for birds and other wildlife to use for nests, nurseries, storage areas, and perching. Other downed trees are being donated to a City of Eugene wetlands restoration project, where they will continue to provide habitat long into the future, and for public use projects in the Southeast Neighborhood and also the City of Springfield.

New information: The tree removal contractor has determined that log trucks will use Hilyard Street to travel to and from the site. Removal of downed trees will take approximately two weeks.

Earthwork will begin mid-September and will last 6-8 months.
This will be a disruptive period of noise and truck traffic.

We will host another neighbor meeting in late summer (date TBD) to discuss construction details and mitigation, including:

  • Work hours and workdays
  • Noisy work time
  • Construction schedule
  • Construction mitigation
  • Dust
  • Noise
  • Contractor staging and parking
  • Traffic control on Patterson
  • Controlled drilling and blasting process and safety procedures
  • What to do if there are issues

Access to clean water is vital to our community.  EWEB is hard at work making sure safe, reliable water continues to flow even as critical infrastructure ages and new challenges arise.

In the next decade, we plan to construct new water storage facilities near 40th Ave. and Donald St. and replace the water storage systems at EWEB’s College Hill and Hawkins Hill sites. The projects will be built to seismic and contemporary operating standards, providing more than 40 million gallons of resilient, safe water storage.

If you have questions or input, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the project team at 541-685-7899 or water.storage@eweb.org. Emails sent to this address will reach:
  • Laura Farthing, Project Manager/Senior Civil Engineer
  • Jen Connors, Communications Supervisor
  • Jeannine Parisi, Customer Relationship Manager
  • Wally McCullough, Water Engineering Supervisor

Help neighborhoods by donating blood July 4-18

Lead by example. Give blood. Impact our community.

Donate blood July 4 – July 18 to make your impact count towards Neighborhood Leadership Council.

Make your appointment today and say “Neighborhood Leadership Council” or the code “NLC” when you arrive for your donation.

Make a donation appointment today for our Donor Center at 2211 Willamette, or look for these pop-up locations in July:

  • July 8-10: Pop-Up @ Grace Community Fellowship
  • July 12-15: Pop-Up @ The Graduate Hotel

On the day of your donation, let the registrar know that you are donating on behalf of Neighborhood Leadership Council by providing this code: NLC .

BONUS: Donate during the Virtual Drive and receive a pass to the Lane County Fair and be automatically entered to win a Peloton Bike!

Those who donate blood in the Lane County area between July 1 and July 25 will receive a pass for the Lane County Fair.

Those who donate blood from July 1 – 31 will automatically be entered to win a Peloton Bike. And those who donate from July 1 -8 will have double entries!

To make an appointment, go to https://bloodworks.org/donate. Or, call 800-398-7888.

Your one-hour donation appointment is a safe action to support local hospitals and patients.

Bloodworks has implemented increased safety and social distancing measures in compliance with all local and state recommendations to ensure that the critical act of donation experience is as safe and pleasant as possible. All donors are required to wear masks or face coverings at their donation appointment. Please bring your own mask or face covering.

For more information, visit https://bloodworksnw.org/coronavirus.

Illegal Fireworks Amnesty Day – Temporary South Hills Fireworks Ban

TEMPORARY SOUTH HILLS FIREWORKS BAN

Due to the severe drought conditions and the upcoming 4th of July holiday, an emergency is declared to exist and on Monday, Eugene City Council voted unanimously to temporarily ban all fireworks in the south hills, south from 18th Avenue or east of Agate Street through 2021 and 2022. This ban, effective immediately, was a necessary step for public health and safety. The ban includes legal fireworks like fountains, glitter sparklers, ground spinners and wheels. The temporary ban penalty is a fine not to exceed $500. The presumptive fine is $250. Maps are attached.

CITY ORDINANCE (APPLYING TO ALL EUGENE CITY LOCATIONS)

Fireworks went on sale June 23 and can be sold through July 6. Consumer fireworks discharges within the Eugene city limits are restricted to July 3 and 4, and December 31 and January 1. Commercial public displays with the Eugene city limits are restricted to July 3-5.

OREGON LAW APPLYING TO FIREWORKS

Oregon law prohibits illegal fireworks, which include any firework that flies into the air, explodes, or travels more than 12 feet horizontally on the ground, throughout the entire city, without a permit. Fireworks commonly called bottle rockets, Roman Candles, and firecrackers are illegal in Oregon.

EUGENE AND SPRINGFIELD ILLEGAL FIREWORKS AMNESTY TURN-IN DAY

If you have illegal fireworks at your home, there is an opportunity for you to get rid of them without getting cited. Illegal Fireworks Amnesty Turn-in Day will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Friday, July 2 in Eugene (2 and Chambers) and Saturday, July 3, in Springfield at Eugene Springfield Fire Station 3, (1225 28th Street). The event is only open to private individuals, not commercial parties. Do NOT take fireworks to a police or fire station.

Eugene Springfield Fire has a Fireworks App (Fireworks Alert) – https://www.eugene-or.gov/120/Fire-and-Emergency-Medical-Services Look for the article “Download New App to Report Illegal Fireworks Use”. City officials receive the information along with the geo location from where the picture was taken. Reports will not result in immediate action. Information will be gathered and analyzed to identify areas of the community to target future education and enforcement efforts.

Fireworks are a traditional way to celebrate some holidays, but they can be noisy and an extreme fire hazard. Please be mindful of people in your neighborhood who may be sensitive to loud noises, due to PTSD or other conditions. Especially combat veterans, who deserve our every comfort after their service, can be impacted by the sounds and sights of illegal fireworks. Also many pets are lost each year due to reactions to fireworks.

To report illegal fireworks within the Eugene city limits, call 541.682.5111. To report within the Springfield city limits call 541.726.3714. The Eugene base fine for illegal fireworks is $250. The social host ordinance in Eugene also applies to fireworks. The social host, or ordinance on unruly gatherings, holds individuals criminally responsible for hosting, organizing and allowing an unruly event or social gathering. Eugene property owners where the event is hosted will also be penalized if there are multiple violations of this ordinance at the same property. The Eugene Municipal Court has assigned a base fine of $375 for criminal violations of this ordinance. Both hosts and property owners could be civilly liable for police, fire and public works response to repeated illegal gatherings that fall under this ordinance. For more information: SOCIAL HOST

BACKGROUND FIREWORKS INFO

People often ask questions about sparklers. The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s website information states that wood core sparklers are considered legal retail fireworks and as such, would be subject to the new code. The 10-inch wire core sparklers are considered an unclassified item and not a firework and can be sold and used throughout the year.

More info at Oregon State Fire Marshal’s website at http://www.oregon.gov/osp/sfm

What are Legal Fireworks?

Legal fireworks in Oregon can be sold from June 23 through July 6 of each year. These include fountains, spinners and wheels available at retail fireworks outlets. Additionally, legal fireworks produce only smoke, sparks or fire but DO NOT explode, eject balls of fire, fly into the air more than 12 inches or travel more than six feet on the ground. When both legal and illegal fireworks are improperly handled, injuries and fire damage occur.

Illegal fireworks include but are not limited to, fire crackers, bottle rockets and roman candles, fly into the air, explode and behave in an uncontrolled and unpredictable manner. Illegal fireworks are extremely dangerous and create extreme fire danger. Possession of illegal fireworks is a class B misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of $2,500 and six months in jail.

Cherry bombs, M-80’s and larger and any legal or illegal firework that has been modified are considered an EXPLOSIVE DEVICE and should not be handled. Call the Eugene Police Department immediately and do not transport.

Reporting Illegal Fireworks

Report illegal fireworks use in progress in Eugene: 541-682-5111

Report Illegal fireworks use in progress in Springfield: 541.726. 541.726.3714

Safety info at: www.oregon.gov/osp/sfm

Eugene Springfield Fire has a Fireworks App. To download the app:

iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fireworks-alert/id1393299812?ls=1&mt=8

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=coe.fireworksalert.client

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