Regional Priorities - Columbia River Basin | Region 10 | US EPA

Jump to main content.

Regional Priorities - Columbia River Basin

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

View the Updated Region 10 Environmental Strategy
Washington, Oregon and Idaho

Our Goal: To protect public health and the environment in the Columbia River Basin by improving water quality and aiding in the recovery of Pacific salmon.

Multiple public and private interests derive economic, social and spiritual value from the Columbia River and its tributaries throughout six Western states - Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Wyoming - and British Columbia, including fisheries, hydro-electric power generation, irrigation, water supply, transport and recreation.

Sixty-nine out of 200 historical salmon stocks on the Columbia River have become extinct, and another 75 are at risk. Additionally, water quality is listed as impaired (not meeting Clean Water Act standards for water quality) for temperature, total dissolved gas, dissolved oxygen, and other toxic substances, which pose risks to fish and human health.

The Focus of Our Efforts
EPA shares responsibility with numerous federal, state and tribal agencies for managing the Columbia River and protecting water quality. We are using a watershed approach - working with numerous stakeholders across multiple jurisdictions in a manner which focuses attention on natural landscape and ecological processes - to address multiple impacts in the Basin. We are placing a major emphasis on developing the scientific tools necessary to make informed decisions about how best to manage the resources of the Columbia Basin to restore salmon and water quality while protecting the economic and social values of the region. We will soon issue TMDLs (Total Maximum Daily Load) that will set targets for temperature and total dissolved gas in order to achieve water quality standards. We are also completing fish and sediment contamination surveys to help define potential health risks and to focus future efforts on reducing those risks.

From the Regional Administrator

Adobe Acrobat Version
From the Regional Administrator (52k)
Introduction (111k)

Environmental Indicators for Measuring Success
Environmental Outcomes by 2007
Key Actions: Next 1-2 Years

Local Navigation


Jump to main content.