“Dispose -all?”

Last year during the annual McKenzie River Cleanup a lot of junk was picked up from the stream’s banks as well as being pulled out of the water. There was the usual odd assortment - from plastic pipes to clothing or from fencing to oars. The strangest, though, were sections of the front end of a car that had been cut up with a torch and dumped into the McKenzie River.
The sight made me wonder. were these parts from a stolen car and the thief had deep ditched the evidence? At least it wasn’t the whole car.
That was last year. This year the top oddities were a pair of matched household air conditioning units. Not pieces, but the whole things. It seems some people think the river that runs through here has become a “Dispose -all.”
Where could they get that idea? After all, public agencies often back efforts to ensure that the people who live along this waterway are made well aware of their responsibility to not pollute the river - either physically or visually. I think we’ve all got the message.
But what other impressions could their actions encourage?
Since May, a vehicle involved in a traffic accident has been submerged in the McKenzie. Luckily it has moved under two miles from where it first entered the stream. During that time period there have been few major storms so it’s likely found a place to rest for a bit.
A number of agencies - from the county to the state as well as the metro drinking water supplier have all washed their hands of any responsibility to remove the Kia SUV. Their rationales range from saying there’s little risk from the small quantities of pollutants involved to denying any of them have the authority to take action.
As the wet day we had last week reminds us, the rainy season is coming. The riverflows listed in the Weather Report on Page 2 of McKenzie River Reflections will grow from the 4-digit to 5-digit range of cubic feet per second rushing downstream. That vehicle is not going to remain where it is now. How far it might travel in each storm is anybody’s guess.
All that muddy water could hide a lot. And from what we’ve seen so far from the agencies you’d think would be involved, nobody really cares enough to step up to the plate.


McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.