BOARDMAN, Ore. (AP) – Officials in Oregon’s Morrow County along the Columbia River have declared a local state of emergency after private well testing showed high levels of nitrate contamination. Morrow County commissioners, at a special meeting on June 9, voted in favor of the measure, which will allow the county to take immediate action to protect drinking water. The county is distributing bottled water and will set up water distribution trailers in the small city of Boardman.
Earlier this year, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality fined the Port of Morrow $1.3 million for overapplying tons of nitrogen-rich wastewater onto agricultural fields. The Port says it’s looking at pollution reduction measures.