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Senate Bill 420
Senate Bill 420, signed into law by Governor Kulongoski in 2007, became effective on January 1, 2008.  SB 420 calls for environmental justice in Oregon by ensuring that all persons affected by decisions of natural resource agencies have a voice in those decisions.  The legislation creates a 12-member Environmental Justice Task Force to advise the Governor and natural resources agencies on environmental justice issues.  Information regarding Oregon’s Environmental Justice Task Force can be viewed at:  http://www.oregon.gov/Gov/GNRO/environmental_justice.shtml

WRD Responsibilites
The Oregon Water Resources Department (Department) has two primary responsibilities under SB 420: 
  • Create a citizen advocate position that is responsible for ensuring that the agency encourages public participation, considers environmental justice issues, and informs the agency of the effect of its decision on communities traditionally underrepresented in public processes.
  • Report annually to the Environmental Justice Task Force and to the Governor on the results of agency efforts to:
    • Address environmental issues,
    • Increase public participation of individuals and communities affected by agency decisions,
    • Determine the effect of agency decisions on traditionally underrepresented communities, and
    • Improve plans to further the progress of environmental justice in Oregon.

Citizen Advocate
Ruben Ochoa, Water Policy Analyst in the Director’s Office, has been appointed to perform the duties of Citizen Advocate for the Department on environmental justice issues.  The Department welcomes your questions, comments and thoughts regarding environmental justice as it relates to management of Oregon’s water resources.  Please feel free to contact Ruben Ochoa at:
   Oregon Water Resources Department
   725 Summer St. NE, Suite A
   Salem, Oregon 97301-1271
Telephone:  503-986-0874
Fax:  503-986-0903
E-mail:  Ruben.E.Ochoa@state.or.us

Annual Reports