Adopted rule

Rulemaking contact: Aron Borok, 503-229-5050

Administrative Order No. DEQ 3-2020
Filed and effective Jan. 24, 2020

See Oregon Bulletin, February 2020

This rulemaking will add procedures for qualifying point source dischargers in the Willamette Basin to apply for and obtain a water quality standards variance that would apply to water quality based effluent limits for mercury. The proposed rules will require the dischargers to continue to work to decrease mercury in effluent.

In addition, DEQ is proposing changes to the variance rule (OAR 340-041-0061) to be consistent with recent changes to parallel federal regulations. This rulemaking will allow DEQ permit writers to issue permits that would otherwise have unattainable water-quality based effluent limits for mercury. The variance will allow permit holders to meet mercury effluent limits while still requiring them to reduce mercury loads over time.

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​This committee’s purpose is to provide early input to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality on a rule establishing a multiple discharger variance for mercury in the Willamette Basin, as well as amendments to Oregon’s variance rule at OAR 340-041-0059.  

Advisory Committee charter

Past meetings
Meeting 6
Aug. 1, 2019
Meeting 5
June 3, 2019
Meeting 4
Apr. 4, 2019

Meeting 3

Jan. 24, 2019

Meeting 1 - Nov. 1, 2018

Meeting 2 - Dec. 10, 2018

Advisory committee meetings are open to the public. The public may attend the meeting, but the committee has discretion whether to allow the public to participate in the meeting. The public will be able to comment on the proposed rule changes during the public notice and comment period later in the rulemaking. DEQ publishes meeting notices on

Please notify DEQ of any special physical or language accommodations or if you need information in large print, Braille or another format. To make these arrangements, contact DEQ, Portland, at 503-229-5696 or call toll-free in Oregon at 1-800-452-4011, ext. 5696; fax to 503-229-6762; or email to Hearing impaired persons may call 711.

​Public involvement

The public comment period for this rulemaking closed at 4 pm on Nov. 4, 2019. DEQ will not consider any comments submitted after that deadline. The next step in the rule adoption process is for the Environmental Quality Commission to consider adopting the proposed rule changes at a future meeting.

For more information, see the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Draft Rules .

The public notice packet includes the notice, proposed rules and any supporting documents.

EQC action

The EQC adopted these rule changes on Jan. 24, 2020