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Oregon Water Quality Standards

EPA approves Oregon’s January 7, 2015 Water Quality Standards Revisions

On August 4, 2015 the EPA approved the revised water quality standards adopted by Oregon on January 7, 2015. The revised standards adopted by Oregon include freshwater aquatic life criteria for ammonia, correction of the pH standard for the main stem Snake River, amendments to OAR 340-041-0310 and OAR 340-041-0315, and numerous editorial revisions.
EPA's approval letter to ODEQ for revised water quality standards - August 4, 2015 (PDF) (25 pp, K)

EPA approves Oregon’s December 12, 2013 Water Quality Standards Revisions

On April 11, 2014, the EPA finalized its action on the revised aquatic life criteria adopted by Oregon on December 12, 2013. We submitted a letter to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality explaining our actions on the Water Quality Standards Revisions (PDF) (33 pp, 2.7MB).

EPA Approves Antidegradation Provision of Oregon Water Quality Standards as it Applies to Nonpoint Sources on September 19, 2013

On September 19, 2013, the EPA submitted a letter of approval to Oregon on OAR-340-041-0004(4) (PDF) (3 pp, 376K), a provision that allows Oregon to exempt certain "recurring activities" from state antidegradation review requirements, as it applies to nonpoint sources of pollution. The approval was in response to a January 7, 2013 court order from the federal District Court for the District of Oregon, which required the EPA to take action under the Clean Water Act on the provision.

EPA Disapproves Oregon’s Natural Conditions Criteria for Temperature and Statewide Narrative Natural Conditions Criteria, and reviews the Non-Binding Portions of Oregon’s Antidegradation Implementation Methods, August 8, 2013

An April 10, 2013 court order from the federal District Court for the District of Oregon required the EPA to take action under the Clean Water Act on two provisions of the State of Oregon’s water quality standards: the narrative natural conditions criteria for temperature (“NCC”) and the statewide narrative criteria (“SNC”) for natural conditions. In addition, the order required us to review the non-binding portion of Oregon’s antidegradation implementation methods, which were issued by Oregon in March 2001. The court order did not affect the existing numeric, biologically-based temperature criteria, which remain in place. In response to the court order, we have disapproved the NCC and SNC and have submitted a letter of review to Oregon regarding the nonbinding portion of its antidegradation implementation methods.

EPA finalizes action on new and revised aquatic life criteria for toxics in Oregon's water quality standards, January 2013

We have finalized our action on the new and revised aquatic life criteria for toxic pollutants submitted by Oregon in July 2004, as amended by its April 2007 and August 2011 submissions.

EPA approves revisions to the human health criteria for toxics in Oregon's water quality standards, October 2011

We have approved Oregon’s revised water quality standards for toxic pollutants based on a fish consumption rate of 175 grams/day. Oregon will now use these new water quality standards when it regulates activities under the Clean Water Act. The new standards will ensure healthier fish with fewer contaminants and cleaner drinking water for all Oregonians.

The revised toxics criteria are intended to be protective of all Oregonians, particularly those for whom fish is a significant portion of a regular diet. These populations include fishermen, tribes and coastal communities.

More information:

EPA Action on Oregon's Human Health Criteria - June 2010

EPA's 2004 approval of Oregon Water Quality Standards for temperature, inter-gravel dissolved oxygen and antidegradation in accordance with the Clean Water Act.


1200 Sixth Ave, Suite 900
Seattle, WA 98101
Fax (206) 553-0165
Rochelle Labiosa (labiosa.rochelle@epa.gov), (206) 553-1172
Debra Sturdevant (sturdevant.debra@deq.state.or.us), (503) 229-6691

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URL: http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/water.nsf/Water+Quality+Standards/OR+WQS

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