Water Quality Programs

Protecting human health and aquatic life in Oregon's rivers, lakes, and coastline

Nonpoint sources are often linked with agricultural, forestry, urban, and rural residential land use activities where rain or snow runs off to surface waters. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural pollutants and pollutants resulting from human activity, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters, and groundwater.

Polluted runoff causes damage to fish, wildlife, and their habitat; damages drinking water supplies; promotes excessive weed growth; and degrades Oregon's scenic beauty and recreational opportunities. Nonpoint sources continue to be a leading cause of significant water quality impacts across the state and the nation as a whole.

The goal of DEQ's Nonpoint Source Program is to prevent and eliminate water pollution from nonpoint sources in all waterbodies in the state. A nonpoint source of pollution is any pollution entering a waterbody that does not come directly from a pipe. Through control of pollutant sources for all waterbodies, DEQ's goal is to meet water quality standards that protect human health and aquatic life. Oregon's NPS Program is an important part of the state's water pollution control programs because for some pollutants, nonpoint sources of pollution are the major sources of pollution to a waterbody.

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Oregon Nonpoint Source Management Program Plan

The 2014 Final Oregon Nonpoint Source Management Program Plan describes the federal and statutory basis of the Program. Oregon’s NPS Plan describes goals, priorities, objectives and strategies for preventing, controlling and eliminating pollution of Oregon’s waters from nonpoint sources.
The Oregon Nonpoint Source Plan includes measures needed to meet federal and state surface and groundwater water quality standards, and established Total Maximum Daily Load allocations for water bodies designated as water quality limited on the state’s 303(d) list of impaired waters. One of Oregon’s primary goals is to strengthen its working partnerships and linkages to appropriate state, interstate, tribal, regional and local entities (including conservation districts), private sector groups, citizens groups, and federal agencies. The NPS Plan identifies the needed collaboration, coordination, and communication for its implementation to address NPS pollution. Annual milestones proposed in the Oregon NPS Plan are meant to be general enough to accommodate long-term Nonpoint Source Management Program planning goals while being specific enough for the state to track progress and for EPA to determine satisfactory progress in accordance with Section 319 of the federal Clean Water Act. The Oregon NPS Plan annual milestones are tracked and reported in required annual reports to EPA.

EPA approval of Oregon’s NPS Plan will help ensure DEQ continues to receive annual 319 funding from EPA that funds DEQ staff and projects.

Oregon's Nonpoint Source pollution program annual report

​The Oregon Nonpoint Source Pollution Program Annual Report documents the activities and accomplishments of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s implementation of the state’s Nonpoint Source Program. DEQ develops the report annually to meet the requirements of Section 319 of the federal Clean Water Act and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2014 Nonpoint Source Program and Grant Guidelines.

The report provides a summary of the nonpoint source activities implemented by the state during the past year and highlights the progress Oregon is making toward meeting the substantial challenges presented by nonpoint source pollution.

The report includes progress updates on milestones, implementation targets and annual reporting requirements identified in the 2014 Oregon Nonpoint Source Management Plan and 2020-2022 Performance Partnership Agreement with EPA.

Nonpoint Source Implementation loans

DEQ’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund loans finance a variety of nonpoint source water quality plans and projects. Eligible activities include an integrated and stormwater management plans, establishing or restoring permanent riparian buffers and floodplains and daylighting streams from pipes.
Planning loans can finance the establishment of watershed partnerships, local ordinances to implement a stormwater management plan, engineering and development standards for new and redevelopment, permanent riparian buffers, floodplains, wetlands and other natural features. Loans can also finance protecting and restoring streamside areas, wetlands and floodplains, and acquisition of riparian land, wetlands and conservation easements.
CWSRF offers a Local Community Loan, which allows a public agency to make loans to private entities like homeowners and farmers for the repair and replacement of failing decentralized systems. Other eligible projects include agricultural best management practices such as building manure containment structures, manure digesters and fences to protect riparian resources, capture and convert methane and purchase calibrated application equipment. 
CWSRF offers:
  • Below-market interest rates
  • Terms up  to 30 years  
  • Up to 100% of eligible costs covered
  • No match required
  • Repayment begins after project is constructed
  • No pre-payment penalty 
  • Additional financial incentives, including principle forgiveness may be available

Technical assistance and other help is available. Call 503-229-LOAN or learn more about the program online. Applications are accepted year-round. 


For more information, contact:
Ivan Camacho
503-229-5088, or toll-free in Oregon 800-452-4011, ext. 5088
For overall nonpoint source program information, please contact:
 Gene Foster 
Watershed Management Manager 
If you have questions about TMDLs and nonpoint sources in a specific
watershed, we encourage you to contact the appropriate Basin Coordinator: