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Water Quality Standards

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality uses water quality standards to assess whether the quality of Oregon's rivers and lakes is adequate for fish and other aquatic life, recreation, drinking, agriculture, industry and other uses. DEQ also uses the standards as regulatory tools to prevent pollution of the state's waters. The Clean Water Act requires states to adopt water quality standards designating beneficial uses of the state's waters and setting criteria designed to protect those uses. States submit their standards to the federal Environmental Protection Agency for approval.

Current news

Metolius Outstanding Resource Water Petition

On Jun. 27, 2022, Friends of the Metolius and co-petitioner the Northwest Environmental Defense Center submitted a citizen petition to EQC for rulemaking to designate the Metolius River from its headwaters to Monty Campground as an Outstanding Resource Water. EQC is scheduled to decide whether to deny the petition or direct DEQ to conduct rulemaking at their meeting scheduled for Sept. 22-23. Get more information and view the Petition on our Antidegradation and Outstanding Resource Waters page.

Other news

Water Quality Standards staff contacts