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Ballast Water 2023

Adopted rule

Administrative Order No.: DEQ-20-2023 
Filed: Nov. 20, 2023
Effective: Dec. 1, 2023
See Oregon Bulletin, December 2023

Rulemaking contact: Joshua Emerson, 503 502-1405

The Environmental Quality Commission adopted rules to remove the expiration of Oregon's “exchange plus treatment" rule (OAR 340-143-0050(2)) for proper management of freshwater ballast discharge from commercial vessels while in Oregon waters. The current rule has been adopted at the federal level for application to the entire Pacific coast, but not yet put into effect. Oregon's rule expires on Dec. 19, 2023.

In 2018, the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act was signed into law. VIDA incorporates Oregon's exchange-plus-treatment requirement and applies it to the entire Pacific Coast. While VIDA contained a specific timeline for its rules to take effect in December 2022, delays at the federal level have created a scenario in which the federal exchange and treatment requirement will not be in place by the time Oregon's rule expires. Oregon's rule was implemented specifically to protect the freshwater Columbia and Willamette Rivers and Coos Bay from high-risk ballast discharges in the absence of an similar federal rule.

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

Public involvement

The comment period closed at 4 p.m. on Sept. 21, 2023.

For more information, see the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which includes the notice and proposed rules.

Public hearing

DEQ held one public hearing on Sept. 19, 2023.

Sign up for email or text updates on this rulemaking via GovDelivery.

EQC action

The Environmental Quality Commission adopted these rules at their meeting on Nov. 16 2023.