House Republicans Oppose Noise Petition

June 23, 2022 - As representatives of districts from across the state of Oregon, we are writing to oppose the petition to amend the state’s standards regarding noise from all boats and operating rules for personal watercraft. Amending the statewide rules to lower the allowable decibel level and create an accompanying “narrative standard” would have an adverse impact on the families who safely and respectfully recreate on our lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. 

This petition stems from a local dispute about behavior on one small section of the Willamette River. Despite the limited scope of the issue, the petition seeks to limit activity on bodies of water in the state from Detroit Lake to Lake Billy Chinook to the Rogue River. As lawmakers, we believe it would be irresponsible to attempt to fix a hyper-local issue by passing a statewide rule that would impact countless other boating families. 

As you are aware, there are already limited law enforcement resources on state waterways. Not only would this new rule be difficult to enforce with current limitations, but the vague “narrative standard” could pose additional problems, as there is little guidance for law enforcement in the proposed rule for the subjective standard. 

The subjectivity would also create confusion for the boating community. If a citation can be issued to boaters for sound levels that fall below legal limits, based on the narrative standard, there would be no consistency for boaters to know if they are operating within the law. This also could potentially create a scenario where the rule is being enforced more strictly in some bodies of water than others. 

Boating popularity is on the rise, and Oregon has taken strides to increase safety and improve education. While we support the Marine Board continuing to consider ideas to keep our waterways safe and accessible, this petition does neither and will only impede Oregonians’ ability to recreate for the sake of one, local dispute. 

Thank you for your consideration, and we strongly urge you to oppose this proposed rule change. 


Vikki Breese-Iverson

House Republican Leader

Kim Wallan 

Deputy House Republican Leader 

E. Werner Reschke 

State Representative, District 56

Lily Morgan  

State Representative, District 3

Jami Cate  

State Representative, District 17

Bobby Levy  

State Representative, District 58

David Brock Smith  

State Representative, District 1 

Boomer Wright 

State Representative, District 9

James Hieb 

State Representative, District 39