09/25/2001 11:00PM

Deal to reopen Portland closer


The Environmental Protection Agency has made a key concession that could allow Magna Entertainment to open its Portland Meadows meeting is scheduled on Oct. 20.

In a counterproposal presented by EPA attorney David Alnutt to Magna, the EPA dropped its requirement that the new storm water retention system at Portland Meadows be designed to withstand a 25-year event, or more than five inches of rainfall in a 24-hour period. Instead, the EPA will accept Magna's plan as submitted, but fine the company on days storm water escapes its system, with the amount depending on how much storm water escapes and how contaminated that water is.

Art McFadden, Magna's representative in Oregon, said the company is studying the EPA's counterproposal. McFadden said if Magna finds the counterproposal acceptable, the agreement could be in place by early next week and horses could be allowed on the grounds of Portland Meadows shortly thereafter.