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Oregon's Blue Ribbon Committee on Wastewater Permitting
DEQ first convened a Blue Ribbon Committee on Wastewater Permitting in December 2002 to help the agency improve Oregon’s wastewater permit program. This work continues today. Membership is diverse and represents industry, environment and local government interests related to wastewater permitting.
In 2001, Oregon had one of the highest backlog rates in the nation for processing/renewing major NPDES individual permits. This was due in large part to increasingly complex permit requirements, more stringent water quality standards, the need to implement Total Maximum Daily Loads and assign more complex waste-load allocations, and a dramatic increase in the number of sources needing permits.
Blue Ribbon Committee Recommendations
The committee completed recommendations for improving the permitting program in 2004 and issued a report, Blue Ribbon Committee Report on Key Enhancements to the Oregon Wastewater Permitting Program. Later, in 2005, Senate Bill 45 was introduced by Governor Kulongoski on behalf of DEQ as part of a funding and program improvements package recommended by the Blue Ribbon Committee.
In January 2011, DEQ released Report to the Legislature - Wastewater Permitting Program Improvements and Measures. This report provided an update to the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission and Legislature on DEQ’s progress toward achieving specific wastewater permitting program performance measures identified in the Blue Ribbon Committee’s 2004 recommendations. The report includes information on DEQ's efforts to use a watershed approach toward water pollution control permitting, also required by Senate Bill 45. Read the Executive Summary.
Meeting Minutes
The committee has agreed to meet on an as-needed basis until further notice. The most recent meeting minutes and handouts are posted here:
Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014


For more information about improvements to Oregon’s wastewater permitting program visit Blue Ribbon Committee Reports and Recommendations.