Water Quality Programs

Provided below are brief descriptions and contact information for resources available to public water systems, including grants and loans to fund drinking water infrastructure and source protection projects.

 

DEQ’s list of "Technical Information and Factsheets for Water Quality Protection" provides other websites and resources available to public water systems and community members seeking to work on watershed protection.

 

Get a full print-ready version of the information on this page: Funds and Resources information 

 

State agencies

Oregon Health Authority

​Drinking Water Services
Phone: 971-673-0405 

The Oregon Health Authority is the primacy agency for the implementation of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act in Oregon. ORS 338.277 authorizes the OHA to administer the federal Safe Drinking Water Act in Oregon as the Primacy Agency in agreement with the federal government.  ORS 448.131 further authorizes the adoption of standards necessary to protect public health through insuring safe drinking water within a water system.  Standards in OAR 333-061 outlines requirements for systems to meet MCLs, submit to periodic inspections, and meet enforcement requirements as administered by OHA. As the primacy agency, OHA also approves drinking water treatment plans and sets construction standards, operator certification standards, and enforces rules to ensure safe drinking water. The OHA website has extensive information on drinking water treatment requirements.

In order to assist systems in complying with standards, OHA also provides technical assistance and oversight of grants and loans from the Safe Drinking Water Act for public water system operation and improvements. For those Safe Drinking Water Act loans and grant funds, the Oregon Health Authority partners with Oregon Infrastructure Finance Authority to provide the financial services (see below).

 

Business Oregon - Infrastructure Finance Authority

Infrastructure Finance Authority
Municipal Infrastructure Funding
Phone: (503) 986-0123

IFA is a division of Business Oregon that provides funding for municipally owned infrastructure projects.  IFA manages federal infrastructure funds for agencies such as Oregon Health Authority and Housing and Urban Development. IFA is not a regulatory agency but collaborates and supports our state and federal partners with financing programs and technical assistance.

Here are the funding programs for drinking water infrastructure and source protection:
​This loan program funds drinking water system improvements needed to maintain compliance with the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act. The Safe Drinking Water Fund is funded by annual grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and matched with funds from the state Water/Wastewater Financing Program. The program is managed by the Oregon Health Authority, Drinking Water Services.  The loans are managed by the Oregon Infrastructure Finance Authority.

The Safe Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund is designed for water source, treatment, distribution, storage and related infrastructure projects. Funding is available for all sizes of water systems, although 15 percent of the funds are reserved for systems serving a population of fewer than 10,000. Eligible applicants can be owners of water systems that provide service to at least 25 year-round residents or systems that have 15 or more connections (or a nonprofit with 25 or more regular users). Owners can be a nonprofit, private party or municipality, but systems cannot be federally owned or operated.

To be eligible for funding, a project must solve an existing or potential health hazard or noncompliance issue under federal/state water quality standards. The following are the main types of eligible activities:
  • Engineering, design, upgrade, construction or installation of system improvements and equipment for water intake, filtration, treatment, storage, transmission
  • Acquisitions of property or easements
  • Planning, surveys, legal/technical support and environmental review
  • Investments to enhance the physical security of drinking water systems, as well as water sources
SDWRLF loan amount: The program provides up to $6 million per project (more with additional approval) with the possibility of subsidized interest rate and principal forgiveness for a Disadvantaged Community.  The standard loan term is 20 years or the useful life of project assets, whichever is less, and may be extended up to 30 years under SDWRLF for a Disadvantaged Community. Interest rates are 80 percent of state/local bond index rate.

To apply, the municipality should first submit a Letter of Interest to Oregon Health Authority where it will be rated and ranked. Call Oregon OHA Drinking Water Services at 971-673-0422 or go to the OHA website: www.healthoregon.org/srf

Projects placed on the Project Priority List will be invited to apply through IFA for funding. Contact your IFA Regional Coordinator for assistance and more information. Call IFA at 503-986-0123 or visit http://www.orinfrastructure.org/
​From the Safe Drinking Water Act, loans and grants are also available for drinking water protection projects: low interest loans up to a maximum of $100,000 per project, and grant funds up to $30,000 per water system. Eligible systems include any public and privately-owned Community and Nonprofit Non-Community water systems with a completed Source Water Assessment are able to demonstrate a direct link between the proposed project and maintaining or improving drinking water quality.  Eligible activities include those that lead to risk reduction within the delineated source water area or would contribute to a reduction in contaminant concentration within the drinking water source.  Projects can take either a local or regional approach.  Local projects are defined as activities that concentrate on a public water system’s source area(s).  Regional projects are defined as activities that involve multiple communities and/or water systems attempting to address a common source water issue or group of issues.

The categories for eligible projects for DW Source Protection funding include the following:
  • Refined Delineation
    OHA and DEQ have completed delineations for most drinking water source areas for the community and non-community public water systems.  DWSAs include aquifer recharge areas for groundwater sources and watershed areas for surface sources.  DW Source Protection funding can be used to complete, update, or refine DWSA delineations using new or additional site-specific information as part of a more comprehensive protection strategy.
  • Updated Assessment
    • Inventory – Projects that improve upon existing potential contaminant source inventories available from the DEQ database, Geographic Information System, and Assessment Reports prepared by OHA/DEQ.  A project could involve expanding or updating the inventory of land uses or existing and potential point and non-point contaminant sources.
    • Evaluation – Projects establishing a water quality monitoring project to evaluate existing and potential threats to water quality.  This could include evaluating and prioritizing potential threats (or protection activities) based upon new or more detailed information.
  • Source Protection Planning
    Projects designed to identify appropriate protection measures, including development of a comprehensive DW Source Protection plan, educational projects, projects to identify and ensure implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs), development of local DW Source Protection ordinances, development of restoration or conservation plans for the source area for future easement or land acquisition.
  • Implementation
    Funds can be used to implement many types of protection strategies in drinking water source areas.  This can include implementation of any eligible activities that will reduce risks within the source water area or would contribute to a reduction of contaminant concentration within the drinking water source(s).
Examples of the types of projects that can be funded include:
  • Implementing drug-take-back projects in source areas
  • Projects for reducing pesticide application rates and loadings in source area
  • Implementing pesticide and household hazardous waste collection events
  • Closure of high-risk abandoned or unused (private or irrigation) wells close to supply well
  • Projects for reforestation or replanting in sensitive or riparian areas
  • Installation of fencing to protect sensitive riparian source areas
  • Installation of signs at boundaries of zones or protection areas
  • Projects for assessing risks from onsite systems near supply wells, inspections, pump-outs, or decommissioning onsite systems.
  • Secondary containment for high-risk ABOVE ground tanks
  • Focused workshop events for household/business instruction for changing to alternative nonhazardous product usage (“green chemical” products)
  • Seismic spill prevention or inspection project in proximate areas for high-risk sources
  • Permanent abandonment (i.e. filling in) of inadequately constructed private wells within the source area
  • Installation of fencing around the immediate intake or well area to provide protection
  • Structures to divert contaminated stormwater runoff  affecting the source area
  • Set up ecosystem services (or similar) project in watershed to fund preservation areas
  • Implementation of pollution prevention or waste reduction projects
  • Restoration and/or conservation projects within the drinking water source area
  • Implementation of water reuse and other conservation measures related to source protection
  • Implementation of best management practice projects
  • Implementation of conservation easements to protect sensitive source areas
  • Implementation of a drinking water source protection ordinance
  • Establishing management plans for easements or lands purchased within source areas
  • Development of educational flyers/brochures for purposes of public education
  • Purchase of lands within the drinking water source area (funded only via low interest loans)
Any Public and Privately-owned Community and Nonprofit Non-Community water systems with a completed Source Water Assessment are eligible for funds.  A “community water system” is defined as a public water system that has 15 or more service connections used by year-round residents, or which regularly serves 25 or more year-round residents.  This includes water systems that are owned privately, by non-profit or public entities such as a city, district, or port.  A “nonprofit non-community water system” is a public water system that is not a community water system and that regularly serves at least 25 people (more than 6 months per year) and is legally recognized under Oregon law as a nonprofit entity.

For the source water protection funds, contact OHA regarding the letter of interest submittal schedule. Call Oregon OHA Drinking Water Services at 971-673-0422 or go to the OHA website: or contact IFA at 503-986-0123.
​This loan program funds the design and construction of public infrastructure needed to ensure compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act or the Clean Water Act. The public entities that are eligible to apply for the program are cities, counties, county service districts, tribal councils, ports, and special districts as defined in ORS 198.010.  Municipalities must either have a documented compliance issue or the potential of a compliance issue in the near future.

Allowable funded project activities may include:
  • Construction costs, including Right of Way and Easements, for improvement or expansion of drinking water, wastewater or stormwater systems
  • Design and construction engineering
  • Planning/technical assistance for small communities
WWFP Loans
The maximum loan term is 25 years or the useful life of the infrastructure financed, whichever is less. The maximum loan amount is $10 million per project (more with additional approval) through a combination of direct and/or bond funded loans. Loans are generally repaid with utility revenues or voter approved bond issues. A limited tax general obligation pledge also may be required. "Credit worthy" borrowers may be funded through the sale of state revenue bonds.

WWFP Grants
Grant awards up to $750,000 may be awarded based on a financial review. An applicant is not eligible for grant funds if the applicant's annual median household income is equal or greater than 100 percent of the state average median household income for the same year.

Funding for Technical Assistance
The Infrastructure Finance Authority offers technical assistance financing for municipalities with populations of less than 15,000. The funds may be used to finance preliminary planning, engineering studies and economic investigations. Technical assistance projects must be in preparation for a construction project that is eligible and meets the established criteria.
  • Grants up to $20,000 may be awarded per project.
  • Loans up to $60,000 may be awarded per project.
To apply, call IFA at 503-986-0123, then contact your IFA Regional Coordinator for assistance and more information. 
​The Special Public Works Fund provides funds for publically owned facilities that support economic and community development in Oregon. Funds are available to public entities for planning, design, purchasing, improving and constructing publically owned facilities, replacing publically owned essential community facilities, emergency projects as a result of a disaster, and for planning.  Public agencies that are eligible to apply for funding are cities, counties, county service districts (ORS 451), tribal councils, ports, districts as defined in ORS 198.010, and airport districts (ORS 838).
  • SPWF Loans
    Loans for development (construction) projects range from less than $100,000 to $10 million (more with additional approval). The Infrastructure Finance Authority offers very attractive interest rates that reflect tax-exempt market rates for highly qualified borrowers. Initial loan terms can be up to 25 years or the useful life of the project, whichever is less.
  • SPWF Grants
    Grants are available for construction projects that create or retain traded-sector jobs. They are limited to $500,000 or 85 percent of the project cost, whichever is less, and are based on up to $5,000 per eligible job created or retained.  Limited grants are available to plan industrial site development for publically owned sites and for feasibility studies.
To apply, call IFA at 503-986-0123, then contact your IFA Regional Coordinator for assistance and more information. 
​Grants and technical assistance are available to develop livable urban communities for persons of low and moderate incomes by expanding economic opportunities and providing housing and suitable living environments.  Non-metropolitan cities and counties in rural Oregon can apply for and receive grants. [Oregon tribes, urban cities (Albany, Ashland, Bend, Corvallis, Eugene, Gresham, Hillsboro, Medford, Portland, Salem and Springfield) and counties (Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington) receive funds directly from HUD.]  Funding amounts are based on the applicant’s need, the availability of funds, and other restrictions defined in the program’s guidelines. The maximum available grant for drinking water system projects is $3,000,000. 

All projects must meet one of three national objectives:
  • The proposed activities must benefit low- and moderate-income individuals.
  • The activities must aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight.
  • There must be an urgent need that poses a serious and immediate threat to the health or welfare of the community.
To apply, call IFA at 503-986-0123, then contact your IFA Regional Coordinator for assistance and more information.
​The Port Revolving Loan Fund is a loan program to assist Oregon ports in the planning and construction of facilities and infrastructure. Ports must be incorporated under ORS Chapter 777 or 778.  The Fund may be used for port development projects (facilities or infrastructure) or to assist port-related private business development projects. The variety of eligible projects is very broad and may include water-oriented facilities, industrial parks, airports and commercial or industrial developments.  Eligible project costs can include engineering, acquisition, improvement, rehabilitation, construction, operation, and maintenance or pre-project planning.  Projects must be located within port district boundaries. The maximum loan amount is $3 million at any one time.  The loan term can be as long as 25 years or the useful life of the project, whichever is less. Interest rates are set by the IFA at market rates, but not less than Treasury Notes of a similar term minus one percent.

Note: Flexible manufacturing space projects will not accrue interest until the building is at least 25 percent occupied or until three years after the date of the loan contract, whichever is earlier.

To apply, call IFA at 503-986-0123, then contact your IFA Regional Coordinator for assistance and more information. 
 

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality 

​Clean Water State Revolving Fund
503-229-6412
 
Low-cost loans for planning, design, and construction projects to attain and maintain water quality standards, and necessary to protect beneficial uses such as fish habitat, drinking water sources, irrigation, and recreation. Eligible borrowers are public entities, such as cities and counties, Indian tribal governments, sanitary districts, soil and water conservation districts, irrigation districts, various special districts and some intergovernmental entities. CWSRF offers:
•    Low-cost loans and bond purchases
•    Lower than market interest rates
•    Fixed interest rates
•    Terms up  to 30 years 
•    Up to 100% of eligible costs covered
•    No match required
•    Repayment begins after project is constructed
•    No pre-payment penalty
•    Additional financial incentives, including principle forgiveness
 Applications are accepted year round with scheduled review and ranking in the first week of January, May and September.
 
Financial incentives make CWSRF loans worth exploring. Principle forgiveness is available for communities meeting affordability criteria, or for meeting green project criteria.  Implement a non-planning nonpoint source project and a traditional point source wastewater treatment project through the same application to reduce your interest rate on the combined two projects to as low as 1%. This combined application is called a sponsorship option.

CWSRF Pollution Reduction Funding
The Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan program provides low-cost loans to public entities for the planning, design or construction of both point source and nonpoint source projects that prevent or mitigate water pollution. Wastewater facility improvements and stormwater management projects are funded with CWSRF.

CWSRF loans fund development of nonpoint source water quality improvement plans, such as an integrated water resources plan and a regional or municipality-wide stormwater management plan.  Planning loans can also fund the establishment of watershed partnerships, local ordinances to implement a stormwater master/management plan, engineering and development standards for new and redevelopment, permanent riparian buffers, floodplains, wetlands and other natural features.

CWSRF offers a Local Community Loan, which allows the borrower to make loans to private entities like home owners and farmers. The Local Community Loans fund the repair and replacement of failing decentralized systems. This loan type can also fund nonpoint source agricultural best management practices such as building manure containment structures, manure digesters, and fences to protect riparian resources capture and convert methane, and purchase calibrated application equipment.

CWSRF loans fund a variety of nonpoint source watershed improvement implementation projects such as establishing or restoring permanent riparian buffers and floodplains, and daylighting streams from pipes. Loans can fund protecting and restoring streamside areas, wetlands and floodplains, and to acquire riparian land, wetlands, conservation easements, and land to protect drinking water sources.

The application requirements for CWSRF loans may take some lead-time to develop and may require out-of-pocket expense to prepare. Prospective CWSRF applicants should discuss any questions about the required content of these items with a regional DEQ CWSRF Project Officer at the earliest opportunity
​Supplemental Environmental Projects are administered by DEQ’s Office of Compliance and Enforcement.  When DEQ assesses civil penalties for environmental law violations, violators can offset up to 80% of their monetary penalty by agreeing to pay for a Supplemental Environmental Project that improves Oregon’s environment. SEPs can be for pollution prevention or reduction, public health protection, environmental restoration and protection as long as it is a project that the respondent is not already required to do by law or where the project would be financially self-serving for the respondent. The work can be completed by a third-party like a local government, watershed council, non-profit or private entity. Coastal PWSs can develop a “SEP Application” with general information that OCE can distribute to respondents. Community organizations with proposed projects are also free to contact respondents on their own initiative. The enforcement case does not necessarily have to be in the same area (watershed/county, etc.) as the environmental project or even address the same media (i.e. air/water/land).
​Nonpoint Source Grants support implementation and planning projects that address water quality problems in surface and groundwater resources resulting from nonpoint source pollution. Funds are appropriated by DEQ through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act and support a wide variety of management activities, including technical assistance, site assessment, public awareness and education, training, technology transfer, demonstration projects, and monitoring to assess the success of specific nonpoint source implementation projects. Eligible applicants include government agencies, tribal nations and nonprofit organizations. For more information including funding availability, eligible projects, and application requirements and timelines see Nonpoint Source Implementation 319 Grants webpage.
 

Oregon Water Resources Department

​Water Resources Development Program
725 Summer Street NE, Suite A
Salem, OR  97301
Phone: 503-986-0900 

The Water Resources Department is the state agency charged with administration of the laws governing surface and ground water resources. The Department's core functions are to protect existing water rights, facilitate voluntary streamflow restoration, increase the understanding of the demands on the state's water resources, provide accurate and accessible water resource data, and facilitate water supply solutions. WRD is charged with carrying out the water management policies and rules set by the Water Resources Commission and with overseeing the enforcement of Oregon's water laws. By law, all surface and ground water in Oregon belongs to the public.
​WRD’s mission is to serve the public by practicing and promoting responsible water management through two key goals:
  • to directly address Oregon's water supply needs, and
  • to restore and protect streamflows and watersheds in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of Oregon's ecosystems, economy, and quality of life.
WRD developed Oregon’s 2012 Integrated Water Resources Strategy to help individuals and communities address instream and out-of-stream needs now and into the future, including water quantity, water quality and ecosystem needs. There is funding available to support planning, feasibility studies, and implementation of water projects:

Place-Based Integrated Water Resources Planning
Place-based planning is a voluntary, locally initiated and led effort in which a balanced representation of water interests within a basin or watershed work in partnership with the state to: characterize current water resources and issues (water quantity, water quality, ecosystem health); understand current and future instream and out-of-stream water needs and demands; identify and prioritize strategic solutions to address water needs; and, develop a place-based integrated water resources plan that informs the state-wide strategy.

Current funding available is $750,000 in grants; requires 25% cost-share; 2015 applications closed on December 7, 2015; contact WRD for more details on 2016 opportunities.

For more information, contact Harmony Burright at 503-986-0913.

Feasibility Study Grants
Once potential projects are identified, communities often find it difficult to secure funding to assess their viability. This program component addresses that need by providing grant funding to cover 50% of the cost of conducting feasibility studies for potential water conservation, storage and reuse projects. A feasibility study is an assessment of the practicality of a proposed project or plan and can be used to determine if and how a project should proceed to the implementation phase.

Current funds available are $2.8 million in grants; 50% cost share required; applications due February 1, 2016.

For more information, contact Jon Unger at 503-986-0869.

Water Project Grants & Loans (formerly Water Supply Development Grants & Loans)
This account provides grants and loans to evaluate, plan and implement instream and out-of-stream water development projects that have economic, environmental and social/cultural benefits. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to projects that: increase water use efficiency; develop new or expanded storage; allocate federally stored water; promote water reuse or conservation; and protect or restore stream flows.

Current funding includes $14 million in grants or loans; 25% cost share required; applications accepted year round.

For more information, contact Jon Unger at 503-986-0869.
​Municipal water management and conservation planning provides a process through which cities and other municipal water suppliers estimate long-range water supply needs and identify alternatives, including water conservation programs, to meet those needs. The Department requires many municipal water suppliers to prepare plans as conditions of their water use permits or permit extensions.
​Oregon’s water laws are based on the principle of prior appropriation. This means the first person to obtain a water right on a stream is the last to be shut off in times of low streamflows. In water-short times, the water right holder with the oldest date of priority can demand the water specified in their water right regardless of the needs of junior users. The date of application for a permit to use water usually becomes the priority date of the right. Watermasters respond to complaints from water users and determine in times of water shortage, which generally occur every year, who has the right to use water. Each summer as streamflows drop, watermasters regulate junior users to provide water to the more senior users. On many streams throughout the state, by the end of summer, there is only enough water to supply users who established their rights in the late 1800s. All of the more recently established rights will have been regulated off by the watermaster.

There are “watermaster” offices located around the state. The watermaster office is an excellent source of local information. Watermasters can research water rights for a particular stream reach and provide supporting maps (above). During critical flow periods, watermasters regulate water usage to enable senior water right holders to satisfy their water right. The watermaster may also provide information regarding instream leases, ground water rights, cancellations, transfers of water rights, streamflow data, and water right information in general.
 

Oregon Department of Forestry 

ODF Salem Headquarters
2600 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97310

The Oregon Department of Forestry manages and regulates activities on non-federal forestland in Oregon. There are three main divisions under ODF - Fire Protection, Private Forests, and State Forests.  The Private Forests Division administers the Forest Practices Act and various forestry incentive programs and employs the use of about 50 Stewardship Foresters who work closely with landowners and operators The State Forests Division is responsible for forest management to provide economic, environmental, and social benefits to Oregonians. 

Financial incentive programs are aimed at encouraging and assisting landowners in managing their resources and meeting their objectives. Typical forestry projects can be aimed at protecting the landowner's resources/investment from fire or insect and disease infestation, to increasing its monetary and environmental value in the future.

Visit ODF Grants & Incentives webpage for information about all ODF and federal forestry-related grants and incentive programs.
​The Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program is a federal financial assistance program with grants available to local governments, Indian tribes, and qualified nonprofit organizations to establish community forests and sustainably manage them for many public benefits, including recreation, income, wildlife habitat, stewardship demonstration sites, and environmental education.
​To help landowners and operators maintain existing stewardship and adopt additional conservation on privately-owned, non-industrial working forests and agricultural lands.
​The Forest Legacy Program is a national program that addresses privately-owned forestlands that face threats of conversion to non-forest use by development pressures. The goal of the Forest Legacy Program is to promote stewardship and sustainable management of private forest lands by maintaining working forests that conserve important forest resource and conservation values. Forest Legacy provides funds for eligible private forestlands for the purchase of development rights through either conservation easement or fee-title acquisition into public ownership. All properties entered into Oregon’s Forest Legacy Program – either through conservation easement, fee acquisition or donation – have their forest resources and conservation values protected and managed in accordance with a State Forester-approved Forest Stewardship Plan (see below).
​Oregon’s Forest Management Planning System recognizes that forest management planning is a journey – Pathways to Stewardship -- involving several distinct steps.  A landowner’s initial interest may be related to a specific project or action that is pressing on their property – such as reducing hazardous wildfire fuels or combating an invasive weed. Landowner assistance organizations and agencies usually first cross paths through outreach efforts defined around mutual interests or resource concerns. Landowners who are just beginning the management planning process begin a more formal journey by taking the Woodland Discovery step. Woodland Discovery consists of gathering basic property information and solidifying management goals. The remaining steps for completing your forest management plan include organizing the planning elements into specific management planning modules: soil and water, forest vegetation, fish and wildlife, access and protection, scenery and enjoyment and tax and business. Every step completed along the way results in the identification of specific actions that a landowner can take to improve conditions of the forestland or otherwise meet goals in owning forestland. Completion of a forest management plan opens up formal types of engagement such as forest certification and the enrollment of lands into specialized conservation programs that define a long-term commitment to sustainable forestry.
​The goal is to restore and enhance ecosystems and habitat for threatened and endangered species while promoting sustainable timber harvests on working forest lands.
 

Oregon Department of Agriculture 

Natural Resources Program
635 Capitol St. NE
Salem, OR 97301-2532
Phone: 503 986-4700

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) is responsible for developing plans to prevent and control water pollution from agricultural activities and soil erosion on rural lands. ODA’s Natural Resources Program aims to conserve, protect, and develop natural resources on public and private lands in order to ensure that agriculture will continue to be productive and economically viable in Oregon.

Natural Resources Programs work to do the following:
  • Address water quality and natural resource conservation on agricultural lands
  • Protect Oregon’s environment and public health by ensuring the proper and legal sale, use, and distribution of pesticide products
  • Assist local soil and water conservation districts as they help landowners properly manage Oregon’s natural resources
For more information:
​The Pesticide Analytical and Response Center was created by executive order in 1978. The program was reauthorized under the Oregon Department of Agriculture as ORS 634.550, in 1991.

PARC is mandated to perform the following activities with regard to pesticide-related incidents in Oregon that have suspected health or environmental effects: Collect incident information, mobilize expertise for investigations, identify trends and patterns of problems, make policy or other recommendations for action, report results of investigations, and prepare activity reports for each legislative session.

PARC does not have regulatory authority. Their primary function is to coordinate investigations to collect and analyze information about reported incidents. Investigation coordination includes collecting reports produced by member agencies and consultation as necessary with a toxicologist with Oregon State University. Member agencies conduct most of the investigations and take any necessary enforcement action(s). The eight member agencies include the following: Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Office of the State Fire Marshal, Oregon Poison Center, Oregon Department of Agriculture.

To report a pesticide incident that has impacted people, animals, or the environment, contact:
Theodore Bunch Jr., PARC Coordination Team Leader at 503-986-6470 or toll-free at 844-688-7272
Christina Higby, Citizen Advocate Liaison at 503-986-5105



SWCD Program and Water Quality Program Manager:  John Byers, 503-986-4718

The Soil and Water Conservation District Program provides services to the 45 Soil and Water Conservation Districts throughout Oregon. SWCDs are local government entities that have authorities to address soil, erosion, and water quality issues.

 

Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board

Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board
775 Summer St. NE Suite 360
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: (503) 986-0178

The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board is a state agency that provides grants to help Oregonians take care of local streams, rivers, wetlands and natural areas. Community members and landowners use scientific criteria to decide jointly what needs to be done to conserve and improve rivers and natural habitat in the places where they live. OWEB grants are funded from the Oregon Lottery, federal dollars, and salmon license plate revenue. The agency is led by a 17 member citizen board drawn from the public at large, tribes, and federal and state natural resource agency boards and commissions.

OWEB provides grants to projects that contribute to the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds and the Oregon Conservation Strategy by protecting, restoring and improving clean water and fish and wildlife habitat. See the OWEB website for more information on grants.

Oregon Sea Grant

Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon
Phone 541-737-2714

Oregon Sea Grant serves Oregon coastal communities through integrated research, education and public engagement on ocean and coastal issues. Based at Oregon State University, OSG is part of the national network of NOAA Sea Grant College Programs, dedicated to promoting environmental stewardship, long-term economic development and responsible use of America’s coastal, ocean and Great Lakes resources. OSG targets research on better defining the relationships between the many pressures that can degrade water quality: climate change, upland and coastal land use, fish and habitat restoration efforts, aquatic invasive species. OSG works with groups whose interests sometimes come in conflict - landowners, outdoor recreationists, farmers and woodland managers, local government, the general public - to seek solutions that will help sustain healthy watersheds and our precious water resources. OSG focuses on the question of resilience - the ability to plan, adapt and rebound in the face of change by supporting physical and social science research aimed at better understanding ocean and coastal processes and the socio-economic barriers to hazard and climate change preparation.
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OSG and OSU Extension produce textbooks and other publications on such topics as conservation-friendly gardening, sustainable living and low-impact development. OSG also partners with the Oregon State Marine Board to develop the Clean Vessel Act Education Initiative. Funded by the Clean Vessel Act of 1992, the goal of the CVA Education Initiative is to improve boaters’ awareness, accessibility and use of sewage pump-outs, dump stations, and floating toilets. Publications and resources available from OSG about watershed health can be found here:
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Every two years, OSG awards approximately $2 million in research grants addressing community preparedness for climate change, watershed health, other urgent or emerging regional needs with high relevance to coastal communities. For more information on grants, see OSU Sea Grant Research webpage.

Source Water Collaborative

led by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

​Technical assistance and lists of resources and contacts are available from this national network that has worked to promote drinking water protection for several years. The Source Water Collaborative is a network of federal, state, and local organizations led by US EPA. Some of the key Source Water Collaborative members include the US EPA, US Department of Agriculture, AWWA, American Planning Association, ASDWA, ACWA, National Rural Water Association, Groundwater Protection Council, National Association of Counties, and The Trust for Public Land.  For more resources visit Protect Drinking Water website.

 

Federal agencies

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

​This is an online, free searchable database of financial assistance sources (grants, loans, cost-sharing) available to fund a variety of watershed protection projects.
​Free technical assistance is available through EPA’s Environmental Finance Centers. There is currently no  Environmental Finance Center for US EPA Region 10, but the resources are still available through the US EPA website. The program mission is to provide help to those facing the “how to pay” challenges of environmental protection. EFC is committed to helping the regulated community build and improve the technical, managerial, and financial capabilities needed to comply with federal and state environmental protection laws.
Eligible Projects: Improve water quality; improve ecological resiliency of a river or stream; and to reduce conflicts over water at the watershed level by supporting the formation of watershed groups to develop local solutions to address water management issues
Eligible Applicants: States, Indian tribes, local and special districts (e.g., irrigation and water districts, county soil conservation districts, etc.), local governmental entities, interstate organizations, and non-profit organizations. To be eligible, applicants must also meet all of the following requirements: (1)
Significantly affect or be affected by the quality or quantity of water in a watershed; (2) Be capable of
promoting the sustainable use of water resources; (3) Be located in the western United States
specifically: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico,
North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington.
Funding Available: $22,000-$100,000 in the past
To apply visit Cooperative Watershed Management Program website.

 

U.S. Department of Agriculture

USDA Farm Service Agency oversees a number of voluntary conservation-related programs. These programs work to address a large number of farming and ranching related conservation issues including:
•    Drinking water protection
•    Reducing soil erosion
•    Wildlife habitat preservation
•    Preservation and restoration of forests and wetlands
•    Aiding farmers whose farms are damaged by natural disasters

Source Water Protection Program
The SWPP is designed to protect surface and ground water used as drinking water by rural residents. Through a partnership with the National Rural Water Association, local teams are formed to develop plans to reduce pollutant impacts in rural areas.
 
Conservation Reserve Program
The CRP pays a yearly rental payment in exchange for farmers removing environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and planting species that will improve environmental quality. In exchange for a yearly rental payment, farmers enrolled in the program agree to remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and plant species that will improve environmental health and quality. Contracts for land enrolled in CRP are 10-15 years in length. The long-term goal of the program is to re-establish valuable land cover to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and reduce loss of wildlife habitat.

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program
The CREP, an offshoot of CRP, targets high-priority conservation issues identified by local, state, or tribal governments or non-governmental organizations. In exchange for removing environmentally sensitive land from production and introducing conservation practices, farmers, ranchers, and agricultural land owners are paid an annual rental rate. Participation is voluntary, and the contract period is typically 10–15 years, along with other federal and state incentives as applicable per each CREP agreement.

Emergency Conservation Program
The ECP provides funding and technical assistance for farmers and ranchers to restore farmland damaged by natural disasters and for emergency water conservation measures in severe droughts. helps farmers and ranchers to repair damage to farmlands caused by natural disasters and to help. The ECP also provides funding and assistance to help ranchers and farmers install water conservation measures during severe drought.

Emergency Forest Restoration Program
The EFRP, which is very similar to the ECP, provides funding to restore privately owned forests damaged by natural disasters.

Farmable Wetlands Program

The FWP is designed to restore wetlands and wetland buffer zones that are farmed. FWP gives farmers and ranchers annual rental payments in return for restoring wetlands and establishing plant cover.
​NRCS provides farmers, ranchers and forest managers with free technical assistance, or advice, for their land. Common technical assistance includes: resource assessment, practice design and resource monitoring. The conservation planner will help you determine if financial assistance is right for you. Technical assistance is also available online through Conservation Client Gateway.
Visit NRCS website for more information.

Environmental Quality Incentives Program
Grants are available for best management practices and conservation on private, non-industrial forestland and agricultural lands. Financial assistance is available to help plan and implement conservation practices that address natural resource concerns and for opportunities to improve soil, water, plant, animal, air and related resources on agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland. In addition, EQIP can help producers meet Federal, State, Tribal and local environmental regulations.

Eligible Applicants: Owners of land in agricultural or forest production or persons who are engaged in livestock, agricultural or forest production on eligible land and that have a natural resource concern on the land
Funding Available: Financial and technical assistance to agricultural and forestland producers through contracts up to 10 years. Not to exceed $300,000 for all EQIP contracts entered into during any six-year period. If NRCS determines project has special environmental significance the payment limitation is a maximum of $450,000.

Conservation Stewardship Program
CSP helps agricultural producers maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to address priority resources concerns.  Through CSP, participants take additional steps to improve resource condition including soil quality, water quality, water quantity, air quality, and habitat quality, as well as energy. Participants earn CSP payments for conservation performance - the higher the performance, the higher the payment.

Wetlands Reserve Easements
WRE provides habitat for fish and wildlife, including threatened and endangered species, improve water quality by filtering sediments and chemicals, reduce flooding, recharge groundwater, protect biological diversity and provide opportunities for educational, scientific and limited recreational activities.

NRCS also provides technical and financial assistance directly to private landowners and Indian tribes to restore, protect, and enhance wetlands through the purchase of a wetland reserve easement.

Agricultural Land Easements
ALE is designed to protect the long-term viability of the nation’s food supply by preventing conversion of productive working lands to non-agricultural uses. Land protected by agricultural land easements provides additional public benefits, including environmental quality, historic preservation, wildlife habitat and protection of open space.

Emergency Watershed Protection
The EWP program was set up by Congress to respond to emergencies created by natural disasters. The United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is responsible for administering the program. EWP is designed to relieve imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods, fires, windstorms, and other natural occurrences. It is not necessary for a national emergency to be declared for an area to be eligible for assistance. Activities include providing financial and technical assistance to remove debris from streams, protect destabilized streambanks, establish cover on critically eroding lands, repairing conservation practices, and the purchase of flood plain easements. The purpose of EWP is to help groups of people with a common problem.  EWP is generally not an individual assistance program. All projects undertaken must be sponsored by a political subdivision of the State, such as a city, county, general improvement district or conservation district, or by a tribal government.

Other NRCS Programs
There are other NRCS programs that are specific to Oregon geographic areas - Wildfire Rehabilitation Initiative, Organic Initiative, drought funding, and restoration funding.

Anyone applying for EQIP or any of the other NRCS grants for the first time should schedule a meeting with NRCS to discuss their options before moving forward.
Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal Direct Loans and Grants
Eligible Projects: Pre-construction and construction associated with building, repairing, or improving drinking water, solid waste facilities and wastewater facilities
Eligible Applicants:
-Cities or towns with fewer than 10,000 population
-Counties, special purpose districts, non-profit corporations or tribes unable to get funds from other
sources at reasonable rates and terms
Funding Available: Loans (40-year term), grants in some cases, interest rates vary (currently 2.125 – 3.5%)
How To Apply: Applications accepted year-round on a fund-available basis.

 

U.S. Department of Commerce

Community Development Block Grant Planning Program
Region 10 HUD
Seattle Regional Office
Phone: (206) 220-5101

Eligible Projects: Comprehensive plans, Infrastructure plans, Feasibility studies, Community action plans,  Low-income housing assessments
Eligible Applicants: Projects must principally benefit low- to moderate-income people in non-entitlement cities and counties.
· Cities or towns with fewer than 50,000 people
· Counties with fewer than 200,000 people
Funding Available: Grants
· Up to $24,000 for a single jurisdiction
· Up to $35,000 for single jurisdiction projects that address urgent public health and safety needs
· Up to $40,000 for multiple jurisdictions/joint application
How To Apply

 

Other resources

Environmental Programs
1020 S.W. Taylor Street Suite 450
Portland, OR 97205

Local contacts:
Chris Marko, Rural Development Specialist 503- 228-1780
RosAnna Noval, Rural Development Specialist 503-308-0207

At the national level, RCAC has a variety of loans for water and/or wastewater planning, environmental work, and other work to assist in developing an application for infrastructure improvements
Eligible Applicants: Non-profit organizations, public agencies, tribes, and low-income rural communities with a 50,000 population or less, or 10,000 or less if guaranteed by USDA Rural Development financing.

Funding Available:
•Maximum $50,000 for feasibility loan
•Maximum $350,000 for pre-development loan
•1 year term
•5.5% interest rate

How To Apply: Applications accepted anytime.
National contact: Josh Griff, 720-951-2163,
This is a free, online suite of tools designed to assist in evaluating the triple bottom-line costs and benefits of different source water protection options. Cost/benefit calculations help evaluate, prioritize, justify, and ultimately implement source water protection initiatives.
Ecotrust works to protect and restore watersheds and the economic and public health of the communities that depend upon them. Ecotrust develops and applies strategic approaches that improve habitat for native fish and wildlife, create local jobs and recreational opportunities, increase public awareness of the value of nature’s services like water, and ensure a more reliable access to clean water for all members of the Oregon communities. Ecotrust provides Ecosystem Services, GIS Analysis, Mapping, Cartography, Data and Software Development, Economic Impact Assessment, etc.

 

Land trusts

Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts
322 NW 5th, Suite 312 Portland, OR 97209
Phone: 503-719-4732

The Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts is a newly formed nonprofit representing and serving Oregon’s land trusts. Its mission is to serve and strengthen the land trust community in Oregon. Oregon’s land trust community is working at local, regional, and statewide scales with landowners, communities, public agencies and other partners to maintain the state’s natural heritage and the economies it supports. COLT will accomplish its mission by strengthening public policies and programs that are supportive of land conservation, helping to build capacity within and across land trusts, and communicating to key audiences about the role of land trusts in conserving Oregon’s natural heritage and healthy human communities that depend on it. There are currently 18 land trusts that are members of COLT.
Northwest Conservation Manager
1353 Officers Row Vancouver, WA 98661
Phone: 971-202-1483
 


The Land Trust Alliance is a national conservation organization that works preserve land through conservation and easements, so land and natural resources get protected. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and has several regional offices.

Foundations

​Eligible Projects: Community Livability, Environment & Citizen Engagement (10 to 20 percent of grants)
•    Promote leadership development, volunteerism, immigrant integration, and civic participation
•    Support stewardship and appreciation of Oregon's outdoor spaces and scenic beauty
•    Address social, economic and environmental challenges or opportunities by bringing together disparate stakeholders
•    Preserve places essential to communities' civic and historic identities
Eligible Applicants: nonprofits with tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3)
Funding Available: average grant is $20,000
Contact
Eligible Projects: Environmental Solutions for Communities (1:1 match required)
•    Supporting sustainable agricultural practices and private lands stewardship;
•    Conserving critical land and water resources and improving local water quality;
•    Restoring and managing natural habitat, species and ecosystems that are important to community livelihoods;
•    Facilitating investments in green infrastructure, renewable energy and energy efficiency; and
•    Encouraging broad-based citizen and targeted youth participation in project implementation.
Eligible Applicants: non-profit 501(c) organizations, state government agencies, local governments, municipal governments, Indian tribes, educational institutions
Funding Available: grants range from $25,000 to $100,000
Contact: 202-595-2434 - Community-Based Conservation
Eligible Projects: land acquisitions; considering the management and financial resources of land ownership, the Access Fund views land acquisitions as a tool of last resort and have adopted the following guidelines for land acquisition projects. If you are requesting funds for a land acquisitions please call the Access Fund before submitting your application.
•    The area must be imminently threatened with permanent closure or sale to an outside party that may consider land development opportunities or other uses threatening its climbing and/or access resources.
•    The area can be acquired for a reasonable price (reasonable price being one that falls within existing market values and is not in excess of appraised value), together with a reasonable budget (including secured funding) or secured exit-strategy for management by another land trust, local climbers organization or governmental agency.
•    A fully executed purchase agreement stating how the project will be funded is required before Access Fund grant funds will be allocated to any acquisition.
•    A high degree of matching funds is required. The Access Fund's role in land acquisitions is as an additional, not primary, funding resource.
•    Applicants whose projects require continued payments and/or financing should submit a plan describing how these payments will be met in the future. These include, but are not limited to, property tax payments, loan payments, lease and mortgage payments. This payment plan will be taken into consideration during the grant review process.
Eligible Applicants: Local climbing groups, individuals or organizations (Note: tax exempt 501(c)(3) status is not a pre-requisite); governmental agencies that wish to sponsor or organize a local project; conservation organizations and land trusts.
Funding Available: $1,000 to $4,000. (The Access Fund considers requests for over $10,000, but these projects should have national significance and utilize a high degree of matching funds.)
Contact
Eligible Projects: land acquisitions; grants are for projects that directly benefit the residents of Oregon
Eligible Applicants: nonprofits with tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) / agencies that have current registration with the offices of the Oregon State Attorney General and the Secretary of State
Funding Available: varies; grants may range from $3000 to $150,000
Contact
Eligible Projects: Preserving and improving the environment; primary emphasis forestry, fisheries and the sustainable use of natural resources in western North America
Eligible Applicants: nonprofits with tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) in western North America
Funding Available: past grants ranged from $15,000 to $100,000
Website
Eligible Projects: giving limited to organizations and projects in Oregon, with emphasis on the metropolitan Portland area; land acquisition is eligible
Eligible Applicants: nonprofits with tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3)
Funding Available: past grants ranged from $6,000 to $150,000
How to Apply: apply anytime; board meets approximately every 2 months
Contact
Eligible Projects: The foundation's grant-making is designed to provide frameworks and concrete examples of how practitioners can protect biodiversity in light of climate change through strategic land conservation. The program's adaptation efforts focus on three critical land conservation activities undertaken by non-profit organizations and government natural resource agencies:
•    Habitat conservation planning (i.e., the identification of which sites should be conserved in their natural state to benefit wildlife);
•    Permanent land protection (i.e., the acquisition of conservation easements or fee title to secure high priority sites); and C) Management of lands already in protected status. The goal for each of these activities is to encourage the conservation community to augment the dominant species-based approach to wildlife conservation with a focus on maintaining ecosystem functionality as climate change takes hold.
•    The program has adopted three approaches to achieve its objectives: 1) Identifying resilient landscapes; 2) Protecting resilient landscapes; and 3) Managing conserved lands.
Eligible Applicants: nonprofits with tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3)
Funding Available: past grants ranged in the $100K
Doris Duke Charitable Foudation website
Eligible Projects: renewable power and acquire, maintain, preserve, restore, protect, and/or sustain fish and wildlife habitat within the Pacific Northwest.
Interest area: Watershed Restoration Program---supports restoration of damaged watershed ecosystems; supports communities trying to heal their local watersheds by supporting watershed restoration projects grounded in the best available watershed science
Eligible Applicants: nonprofit organizations
Funding Available: varies
Website
Program priorities:
•    Manage freshwater resources: control, use, distribution, conservation;
•    Conserve and restore resilient watersheds, wetlands and estuaries;
•    Maintain a working land base for sustainable agriculture and forestry;
•    Enforce laws and policies intended to assure air and water quality;
•    Create landowner incentives for maintaining and enhancing ecosystem services, including the
development of market-based mechanisms.
Eligible Applicants: nonprofit organizations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana, south-central Alaska, and British Columbia. Within that broad geographic range, work is targeted to specific sub-regions generally associated with major population centers.
Funding Available: varies---past grants ranged from $10,000 to over $600,000
Website
Eligible Projects: forestry practices, manufacturing's effects on air, water and land; free trade, recycling, diversity, land conservation and environmental education; land acquisitions or conservation easement projects may fit with the Foundation’s priorities and goals
Eligible Applicants: educational institutions, non-profit organizations, research institutions in Oregon and Washington
Funding Available: $1,000 - $50,000
Website
​Eligible Projects: projects contribute to a heightened awareness of the ecological, social and economic significance of water sources and watersheds. Preference will be given to projects which demonstrate innovative measures for protecting and restoring water resources and which involve local communities and/or regional institutions.
Eligible Applicants: nonprofit organizations working in Hood Canal (WA), Upper Deschutes (OR), and Rogue (OR) watersheds
Funding Available: varies; past grants ranged from $10k to $100k
Website