Adopted rule

Administrative Order No. DEQ-16-2020
Filed and effective: July 29, 2020
See Oregon Bulletin, August 2020

Rulemaking contact: Michele Martin, 503-229-5103


The Environmental Quality Commission adopted rule amendments to increase water quality fees in 2020 for fiscal year 2021.

The Water Quality Program’s mission is to protect and improve Oregon’s water quality. Protecting Oregon’s rivers, lakes, streams, and groundwater quality keeps these waters safe so they can be used for drinking water, fish habitats, recreation, and irrigation. DEQ accomplishes this by developing and implementing water quality standards and clean water plans, issuing water quality permits, regulating sewage treatment systems and industrial dischargers, collecting and evaluating water quality data, providing grants and technical assistance to reduce nonpoint pollution sources, and giving loans to communities to build treatment facilities.

DEQ needed the fee increase to help account for the anticipated rise in administration costs associated with the permit program and to support policy option packages 122 and 127 of the 2019-21 Legislatively Adopted Budget. This increase will also help DEQ achieve its objective for a sustainable water quality program that issues timely, high quality permits. The fees also help ensure compliance with permit conditions through supporting inspections, enforcement, and reporting to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

DEQ must apply the new fees to invoices as of June 2020 to cover costs associated with implementing the permitting program and delivering services to regulated entities. Without this increase, DEQ would need to reduce permitting staff and delay implementing improvements to the program as identified in the report, Recommendations and Implementation Plan. The 2015 Oregon Legislature commissioned this report, which a third-party consultant completed in November 2016.  

​The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is reviewing fees related to National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System and Water Pollution Control Facilities permits to ensure there are necessary funds to maintain the water quality permitting programs. A fee increase will enable DEQ to continue to deliver services to regulated entities and to minimize pollutants in stormwater and wastewater discharge.

This rulemaking process will engage a variety of stakeholders and public representatives to evaluate and provide policy recommendations, as necessary, for Oregon Administrative Rules 340, divisions 45 and 71 under the authority of Oregon Revised Statute 468B.051.

DEQ convened an advisory committee to provide input on draft fee increases related to the regulation of NPDES and WPCF permits. DEQ will present proposed rules to the Environmental Quality Commission, or EQC, for adoption.

Meeting 2

Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.

DEQ Headquarters
700 NE Multnomah St., Room 601
Portland, OR 97232
Meeting call-in number: 888-363-4734
Participation code​: 1910322


Past meetings

Meeting 1, Aug. 7, 2019

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 the Calendar. 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 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020.
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 Environmental Quality Commission adopted these rules at its meeting on July 16, 2020.