Electric Outage: 1-844-484-2300
Water Emergency: 541-685-7595
EWEB Main: 541-685-7000
The EWEB Board of Commissioners meet on the first Tuesday of the month.Find Out More
To maintain the reliability customers have come to know and trust, EWEB must address an aging infrastructure bubble.Find Out More
EWEB General Manager Frank Lawson delivered his annual State of the Utility Address at the March 7 public Board of Commissioners meeting.Find Out More
Greenpower Grants, a program funded by voluntary Greenpower customer subscriptions is currently accepting applications. The grant will fund a high-impact project that increase the use of renewable energy sources, the adoption of emerging technologies, clean energy education and reduce or offset our community's carbon footprint.Find Out More
For the past year, EWEB’s electric division has been preparing for a complete reconstruction of the Currin substation. Quite simply, it’s reached the end of its useful life.Find Out More
EWEB is building two 7.5-million-gallon water storage tanks on a 10-acre property at East 40th and Patterson Street in South Eugene. The tanks are part of our work to improve EWEB’s water storage infrastructure for future resiliency to earthquakes and climate change. People who live nearby have been watching the progress of the work since summer 2021.Find Out More
EWEB has awarded nearly $125,000 in grant funds to local organizations that promote electric mobility and reduce community carbon emissions.Find Out More
Grantees in the McKenzie River Valley can receive up to $35,000 eachFind Out More
Collaborating with the City of Eugene, a Climate Guidebook, and priorities for upriver EWEB customers were the main topics at the Feb. 7 Board of Commissioners meeting. The five-member Board serves without pay and is elected by EWEB customers. Their job is to establish policies and values and set EWEB’s long-term direction. Board meetings are open to the public and include opportunities for public comment.Find Out More
You may have noticed a plaque along the sidewalk on East 4th Avenue near the entrance to the employee parking lot at EWEB’s former headquarters building. It commemorates Wiley Griffon. He’s not considered the first Black resident of Eugene. But he is the first one mentioned by name, according to scholars.Find Out More
World Pulses Day is celebrated on February 10, and is a day to celebrate and spread information on the environmental and personal health benefits of pulses, aka beans, peas and lentils.Find Out More
Eugene has some of the best drinking water in the world. That’s thanks to our source, the pristine McKenzie River. It’s also thanks to the people at EWEB; whether an engineer designing a new reservoir, a treatment plant operator ensuring the safety and quality of drinking water, or a member of a crew maintaining the infrastructure in our community, water professionals work around the clock to ensure tap water is there when you need it.Find Out More
In January, our elected Board of Commissioners approved an agreement for EWEB to make an unprecedented bulk purchase of substation transformers.Find Out More
The Eugene City Council approved the purchase of EWEB's former riverfront headquarters property at a meeting on Jan. 30. The terms of the deal state that the City of Eugene will purchase the 4.4-acre property, which includes two buildings and parking lots, for $12 million.Find Out More
An EWEB-supported program provides firewood for people affected by the 2020 Holiday Farm Fire. The McKenzie Firewood program was developed by Pure Water Partners (PWP) in 2021.Find Out More
January 05, 2023 • Rachael McDonald, EWEB Communications
New Year, New Leadership
The EWEB Board of Commissioners started off their first meeting of 2023 by choosing a new board president and vice president. Commissioner Sonya Carlson will serve as board president with Commissioner John Barofsky as Vice Chair. Outgoing president John Brown handed Carlson the gavel after the unanimous vote approving the new slate. Other new year business included board liaison assignments.
EWEB will draft an action plan for decommissioning Leaburg dam
The board voted to approve Resolution 2302, which directs the General Manager to develop a Leaburg Hydroelectric Project Decommissioning Plan. The plan will provide a framework for oversight of the decommissioning process with regular progress reports from staff. The decision to decommission the Leaburg project came after nearly a year of analysis, public meetings, and public input.
Commissioner Matt McRae said the Leaburg decision wasn’t easy, given its complexity. He acknowledged the matter has been under discussion for more than a year.
“I don’t take this decision lightly and I don’t think my fellow board members do either,” McRae said. “I think the decision to move towards decommissioning is the right one. And there are many reasons for this, but for me, the primary reason stems from the immense unknowns and economic risks that the utility faces if we move to repair the project and resume operation.”
Construction won’t likely begin until the early to mid-2030s. Lawson said there will be a lot of planning and work ahead which will be described in the action plan.
“The record of decision and the resolution doesn’t mean the wrecking balls come out next week,” said EWEB General Manager Frank Lawson. “This is going to be a long process. A very regulatory-driven process as well.”
McRae and other commissioners thanked the project team for their work.
“This isn’t the end of our involvement in this,” Board President Sonya Carlson said. “It has an immense impact on our citizens, no matter where you live in our territory, and is not to be taken lightly.”
Organizational Goals and Priorities
EWEB Assistant General Manager Rod Price presented Organizational Goals for 2023:
Price told the board staff has incorporated board feedback from their meeting in December 2022.
“We came away with three themes,” said Price. “One of those was to make sure we incorporate our community and Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in goals, the other was to include resiliency in organizational goals.”
Price also noted a request to have new goals with previous years checked off when complete. He said those themes have been incorporated into the goals.
Board president Sonya Carlson said she can see how each item on the goal list needs resiliency. “I do wonder, is there a place for a policy of sorts?”
EWEB General Manager Frank Lawson responded.
“I do see that it permeates across all the areas of how we operate, how we staff, how we plan,” Lawson said. “And I do think it would be worthwhile to have some discussions around a resiliency policy.”
Lawson added that many of EWEB’s goals are in support of resiliency. “The second treatment plant is all about resiliency,” he said. “You don’t necessarily see the word resiliency in here a lot because the outcomes of what’s driving it is resiliency.”
The board unanimously approved the 2023 Organizational Goals and Priorities.
EWEB’s Climate Guidebook
The Board of Commissioners heard from Kelly Huell, EWEB Climate Policy Analyst and Advisor, who is leading creation of EWEB’s Climate Guidebook. She said it will be a reference document to articulate how EWEB is addressing climate change and how EWEB’s work intersects with climate related issues. She compared it to an encyclopedia that addresses different topics.
The document is based on EWEB’s Climate Change Policy SD15, which was passed in 2007 and updated in 2018 and 2022.
Huell said the guidebook will be a living document, regularly updated and available to the board, EWEB staff, and customers for reference.
Commissioner Mindy Schlossburg said she thinks the guidebook can be a helpful tool when trying to see EWEB’s big picture with climate.
“It would be just a great reference, as a one-stop shop reference book.” Schlossburg said a lot of community members have questions about our climate policy and where we’re headed and it would be helpful to have the guidebook for reference. She said another useful element would be to include action items for customers. “I think it’s important to give people tools.”
Huell said she hopes the guidebook will help make connections, so people understand the steps EWEB is taking to meet its climate goals, including its energy sources being 95% carbon free by 2030. She said she’ll be meeting with community interest groups in the coming weeks. The first iteration of the climate guidebook is set to be released in March.
The EWEB Board of Commissioners is an elected volunteer board which represents EWEB ratepayers. You can attend board meetings and find archived meetings at EWEB.org/board.
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