Water Quality Programs

Oregon Pesticide Stewardship Partnerships identify potential concerns and improve water quality affected by pesticide use around Oregon.

The partnerships combine local expertise and water quality sampling results to encourage voluntary changes in pesticide use and management practices. State agencies including DEQ, Oregon State University’s Extension Service, Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon Department of Forestry work with diverse parties, including watershed and other natural resource groups, local landowners and growers, soil and water conservation districts and tribal governments to find ways to reduce pesticide levels while measuring improvements in water quality and crop management.
The goal is measurable environmental improvements, making Oregon waters safer for aquatic life and humans.

What partnerships do

  • Identify local, pesticide-related water quality issues
  • Share water quality monitoring results with local communities and other stakeholders
  • Provide context for water quality data and water quality criteria or benchmarks
  • Help pesticide users identify and implement solutions
  • Use long-term monitoring to measure success and progress

Stewardship partnerships in action

Since 2000, DEQ and other state agencies have worked closely with partners in several watersheds to assess pesticides in streams and improve water quality. Currently there are nine partnerships:

  • Hood River
  • Mill Creek and Fifteenmile Creek (in Wasco County)
  • The Walla Walla River
  • Clackamas River
  • Pudding River
  • Yamhill River
  • The Amazon Creek watershed project (in and around Eugene) 
  • Middle Rogue (near Medford)
  • The Middle Deschutes (near Madras)
These partnerships receive guidance from an inter-agency Water Quality Pesticide Management Team. This team developed a statewide plan to protect water quality from pesticide impacts. It also designates priority pesticides that could affect water quality, and helps evaluate monitoring data. Since 2013, the Legislature allocated stable funding to ODA and DEQ to expand the program to additional watersheds.

In addition, DEQ and ODA work with many of the same partners to conduct pesticide waste collection events in watersheds where Pesticide Stewardship Projects are active, as well as other areas of the state. The purpose of these events is to reduce the risks of accidental releases of unwanted pesticides into surface or groundwater and provide a cost-effective disposal option for pesticide users. Visit the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Stewardship Partnership page for more information on scheduled or planned collection events. You can also contact Kevin Masterson at 541-633-2005.

2017-19 Biennium report and summary

​The Pesticide Stewardship Partnership Biennium Report Summary Fact sheet give an overview of the actions and accomplishments of the PSP Program over the past two years. View the summary for a status report on each of the program's major elements.

Pesticide Waste Collection Events 

DEQ and ODA also periodically sponsor free pesticide waste collection events around Oregon for farmers and other commercial and institutional applicators. The purpose of these events is to reduce the risks to surface and groundwater from accidental release of pesticides by providing a cost-effective and safe way to manage these wastes. These events require prior registration. Planned or tentative events include: 
  • Ontario - Friday, Nov. 20, 2020 from 9am - 1pm at JR Simplot, 1700 SW 4th Street.
  • Mid-Willamette Valley - plans are being made for a collection event in February or March in the mid-Willamette Valley. 
For more information and registration forms, visit the Oregon Department of Agriculture

Other resources

Pesticide Stewardship Partnership Field Audits 2017 - ​This report outlines the findings of DEQ's 2017 Pesticide Stewardship Partnership field audits of ten partner organizations.
Pesticide Stewardship Partnerships, Quality Assurance Project Plan – This document identifies the overall plan for environmental monitoring carried out by the partners including quality assurance procedures, quality control activities, analyte lists, and key project personnel.
Pesticide Stewardship Partnerships, Sampling and Analysis Plan – This document outlines the specific sampling locations, sampling and analysis protocols to be followed within the scope of the QAPP.
Oregon State University, Integrated Plant Protection Center - Includes information about alternative methods for controlling pests, through biological or other non-chemical methods.

How do I get involved?

Contact Kevin Masterson, DEQ’s Toxics Coordinator, at 541-633-2005.
For more information, see the joint agency fact sheet: Pesticide Stewardship Partnerships in Oregon.



Water Sample Collection