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Willamette Valley Mercury Variance 2019

Adopted rule

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.

Public involvement

The public comment period for this rulemaking closed at 4 pm on Nov. 4, 2019. 

For more information, see the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Draft Rules
Includes the notice, proposed rules and any supporting documents

EQC action

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