Water Quality Permits

Proposed General Permit for Pesticide Use in Irrigation Systems (2000-J)

The proposed 2000-J general permit regulates the use of pesticides for weed and algae control within irrigation system boundaries. This permit applies to operators of irrigation systems that apply pesticides, such as those currently covered under an individual permit and operators of irrigation systems formed as Irrigation Districts under ORS Chapter 545, Water Improvement Districts under ORS Chapters 552 and Water Control Districts under ORS Chapter 553.

The public comment period closed at 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 12, 2019.

The proposed 2000-J general permit will be available with an effective date in fall of 2020.

Pesticide General Permit 2300-A

Opportunity to comment on proposed 2300-A National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System pesticide general permit closed Monday, July 18, 2016.

DEQ is considering significant comments received on the permit. You can find more information on permit issuance plans on DEQ's Water Quality Permits home page.  

The pesticide general permit is a NPDES general water quality permit for certain pesticide applications that result in a discharge in, over or near surface water. DEQ believes the permits should result in long-range, beneficial impact on water quality in Oregon.  

Information on the 2300-A is provided below. It affects operators who decide to apply pesticides or have day-to-day control over pesticide application. These operators include weed control districts, vector control districts, golf courses, lake and marina managers, large landholdings, public utilities, and federal, state and municipal agencies whose pesticides applications reach water.


Permit Overview - Permit coverage is available for the following pesticide applications:

  • Mosquito and other flying insect pest control
  • Weed and algae control
  • Nuisance animal control
  • Forest canopy pest control
  • Area-wide pest control

While a wide range of operators are covered under the permit and need to follow its regulations, registration, fees, and reports to DEQ will only be required from government agencies, some districts and large-scale pesticide applications identified in Table 1.

To help operators complete the application for registration and satisfy the permit recordkeeping, notification and reporting requirements, DEQ has mapping tools and GIS layers available.
Use the Drinking Water Protection Interactive Viewer to identify water bodies and water suppliers.
A list of water quality limited 303(d) listed water bodies can identified by using DEQ’s Water Quality Assessment Database.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule in November 2006 that clarified two specific circumstances in which a Clean Water Act permit is not required before pesticides are applied. The two situations are when pesticides are:
  • applied directly to water to control pests, including mosquito larvae, aquatic weeds and other pests in the water
  • applied to control pests that are present over or near water where a portion of the pesticide will unavoidably be deposited to the water in order to target the pests effectively.
In effect the rule meant that pesticides legally registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act for application to or near aquatic environments, and legally applied to control pests at those sites, were not subject to NPDES permit requirements. The rule became effective Jan. 26, 2007. Challenges to the rule were filed in 11 circuit courts around the country. The challenges were consolidated for hearing in the Sixth Circuit Court. On Jan. 7, 2009, the Sixth Circuit Court ruled that NPDES permits are required for:
  • all biological pesticide applications and
  • chemical pesticide applications that leave a residue or excess pesticide in water
When the applications are made in or over or near U.S. waters. The court ruling affects DEQ because EPA authorizes DEQ to issue NPDES permits and conduct the compliance and monitoring for these permits.
The Sixth Circuit Court gave EPA two years to develop a general permit so that by April 9, 2011, the regulated community was required to be covered under the pesticide general permit. EPA requested and received an extension on the court-ordered date. NPDES permits were required by Oct. 31, 2011. EPA issued the permit on Oct. 31, 2011.
EPA’s pesticide general permit covers discharges in areas where EPA is the NPDES permitting authority, which include four states (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Mexico), Washington, D.C., all U.S. territories except the Virgin Islands, most Indian Country lands, and federal facilities in four additional states (Colorado, Delaware, Vermont, and Washington).