​Adopted rule

Administrative Order No. 11-2016
Filed and effective Nov. 2, 2016
Debra Sturdevant, 503-229-6691

Oregon DEQ is proposing revisions to aquatic life water quality standards for copper to address the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Jan. 31, 2013 disapproval of Oregon’s freshwater copper standards.
The proposed revised copper standards are based on EPA's 2007 national recommendations for copper which derive criteria using the Biotic Ligand Model (BLM). This model derives copper criteria based on site-specific water quality characteristics and requires the input of 10 water quality parameters that affect the bioavailability and toxicity of copper in freshwaters. Many studies suggest that this model provides a more accurate prediction of copper toxicity than water hardness correction alone. If adopted, these standards will replace the state’s copper standard based on water hardness.
DEQ has developed a technical support document with input from an external technical review panel. This document provides the scientific information and analysis supporting DEQ’s evaluation of the rulemaking options.
DEQ also developed an issue paper, included in the rulemaking documents, which describes DEQ’s rationale for the proposed copper standard and procedures for using the BLM model.  This document also provides some information on how DEQ expects to implement the BLM-based standard in water quality permits and assessments.
The purpose of the advisory committee is to evaluate rulemaking options and to evaluate the implications associated with revising the copper standard. For more information, please see the advisory committee charter below.

Public involvement

Comment period closed at 4 p.m. Sept. 15, 2016. 
ncludes invitation to comment, notice, proposed rules and any supporting documents

EQC action

The EQC adopted the proposed rules on Nov. 2, 2016.
EQC Staff Report Item G (includes adopted rules)