July 28, 2022 - In a 4-1 vote the Oregon State Marine Board rejected the citizen watercraft noise petition at their board meeting yesterday.
The proposed petition attempted to establish a subjective and over-the-top regulation allowing riverfront homeowners to call the police if they thought a boat or PWC was too loud. It also would have placed an unnecessary burden on law enforcement to implement an extremely subjective rule.
Furthermore, the petition aimed to lower the shoreline decibel limit from 84 to 75 statewide and targeted personal watercraft users by restricting activities like flips or aerial tricks.
Big thank you to the boating community for speaking out against this overreach. The board received over 300 pages of public comment on the petition and the opposition was well represented.
Special thank you to House Republican Leader Breese-Iverson, Deputy House Republican Leader Wallan, Rep. Cate, Rep. Rep. Hieb, Levy, Rep. Morgan, Rep. Meek, Rep. Reschke, Rep. Brock Smith and Rep. Wright for standing up for Oregon boating families. They publicly acknowledged the subjective and inappropriate approach of this petition. To help support pro-boating candidates in the upcoming election be sure to donate to the Oregon Families for Boating PAC today!
Another huge thank you to the Sheriff's Association for opposing and drawing attention to the significant equity issues with the narrative standard.
The Board did make the current temporary rule (75 dBA limit for PWCs between Willamette Falls and the Waverly Marina) permanent and took no further action. This was expected and largely supported by Oregon Families for Boating. This decision limits the impact of the rule to the area where the issue is occurring and removes the subjectivity of the proposed narrative standard. In addition, the vast majority of PWC manufactured in the last two decades fall below this limit.
According to the Oregon State Marine Board, if a PWC was cited for exceeding the 75dB noise limit, the operator would be cited for a class B violation, which carries a fine of $265.
“We commend the board’s decision to reject the citizen petition,” said Matt Radich, President of Active Water Sports and Board Member of Oregon Families for Boating. “Demanding statewide limits to solve a hyperlocal issue was highly inappropriate. I sincerely hope this is the last attempt to restrict public access on Oregon’s waterways. It’s imperative that the Willamette River community find ways to work together, respectfully share the river and make it safer.”
Speaking of decibels, always remember to wake responsibly and keep music at reasonable levels. This way every moment on Oregon’s lakes and rivers are safe and enjoyable for all. For more safety tips head on over to https://www.wakeresponsibly.com/.