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 eight partnerships in seven watershed areas. The eight include Hood River; Mill Creek and Fifteenmile Creek (in Wasco County); the Walla Walla River; Clackamas River; Pudding River; Yamhill River (Yamhill Pesticide Stewardship Partnership for rural and urban areas, and South Yamhill River Pesticide Stewardship Partnership, for a forested area of the watershed); and the Amazon Creek watershed project in Eugene.
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. In 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. For more information, see DEQ's 2011 pesticide waste collection events fact sheet. To be notified about upcoming pesticide collection events, contact Kevin Masterson at 541-633-2005.

Biennium summary released

The Pesticide Stewardship Partnership Biennium Summary gives 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.

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 DEQ's fact sheet: Pesticide Stewardship Partnerships in Oregon.



Water Sample Collection