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Powder River Basin TMDL

Proposed rule

Rulemaking contact: Vanessa Rose, 541-278-4620

DEQ is conducting a rulemaking to establish a Total Maximum Daily Load to address the impairments to water quality standards and beneficial uses in surface waters in the Powder River Basin. These impairments are caused by excess bacteria and will be addressed by identifying and quantifying sources of this pollutant. This rule will also establish a water quality management plan that includes pollutant management strategies, a list of parties responsible for developing management plans and implementing strategies, and a timeline to reduce pollutant loads and attain water quality standards.

The Powder River Basin is located in northeastern Oregon and is comprised of the Brownlee, Powder River and Burnt River subbasins, which eventually drain into the Snake River along the border of Oregon and Idaho.

For more information on TMDLs, please visit DEQ's TMDL webpage.

In February 2022, the Environmental Quality Commission adopted Oregon Administrative Rules amendments to allow adoption of TMDLs as rules, as well as issued by order, in alignment with authorities in Oregon Revised Statutes. For more information about that rulemaking process, please visit DEQ's rulemaking webpage.

DEQ is convening an advisory committee to review the technical issues and fiscal impacts related to the proposed rules. In convening this committee, DEQ has appointed members that reflect the range of entities that are both directly and indirectly affected by proposed changes to the rules.

Public involvement

There are no public events scheduled at this time.

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EQC action

Meeting has not yet been scheduled.