DEQ conducted an assessment of water quality in Oregon to meet the federal Clean Water Act Sections 305(b) and 303(d) requirements to report on conditions in Oregon's surface waters. The 2012 Integrated Report combines reporting on conditions for all waters in the state with identification of waters that do not meet water quality standards where Total Maximum Daily Loads are needed to reduce pollutants (303(d) list).
DEQ prepared the report by assembling data and information, evaluating the data compared to Oregon’s water quality standards, preparing a draft list of water quality limited waters, and soliciting public review and comment on the draft report and list.
After considering public comments, DEQ finalized the report and list. DEQ submitted the 2012 Integrated Report and 303(d) list to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in November 2014.
On Dec. 21, 2016, EPA approved most of the submitted 303(d) listings and delistings. The approved 2012 303(d) list is currently effective for Clean Water Act purposes.
At the same time, EPA disapproved DEQ’s submittal for not including other waters. EPA proposed adding other waters to Oregon’s 303(d) list and is taking public comments on the proposed additions until April 3, 2017. See EPA Action Oregon 2012 303(d) List for information on the proposed additions and how to provide comments to EPA.
2012 Integrated Report
The 2012 Integrated Report updates previous assessments using new data and information. Water bodies where standards are not met are identified as water quality limited in the Integrated Report and are assigned a status of either Category 4 or Category 5:
Category 4: Water is impaired or threatened but a TMDL is not needed because: a) the TMDL is approved, b) other pollution requirements are in place, or c) the impairment (such as flow or lack of flow) is not caused by a pollutant.
Category 5: Water is impaired or threatened and a TMDL is needed. This category constitutes the Section 303(d) list that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will approve or disapprove under the Clean Water Act.
To prepare the 2012 Integrated Report, DEQ conducted a public call for data from Dec. 16, 2011 through Jan. 31, 2012. DEQ reviewed submitted data and information, as well as other data that were available from other sources. DEQ compared data to Oregon’s water quality standards to reach conclusions about the water quality status using assessment protocols and methods developed for this report. DEQ prepared a draft 2012 list of water quality limited waters and provided an opportunity for public review and comment on Jan. 2, 2014 through Feb. 24, 2014. DEQ considered public comments and finalized the report and list. A summary of comments received and DEQ’s consideration is provided below.
In November 2014, DEQ submitted the 2012 Integrated Report and 303(d) list to EPA along with the waters that were delisted, Oregon’s TMDL priorities, the methodology DEQ used to prepare the report and list, and a summary of DEQ’s consideration of public comments on the draft list. See links to these resources below.
Oregon's 2012 Integrated Report focused on:
Assessments for dissolved oxygen and toxic pollutants in the Willamette Basin and Umatilla Basin
Assessment of other toxic pollutant data from throughout the state using revised human health criteria
Removal of waters from the 303(d) list to correct errors, incorporate new data, and reflect changes to water quality criteria
Delisting waters when other pollution controls besides TMDLs will achieve water quality standards