Pesticide applications into surface waters
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality requires a permit for any pesticide application in, over or within three feet of water. Two general permits regulate pesticide use. The 2300A pesticide general permit provides permit coverage for a variety of pest control applications that typically reach water. The 2000J is a new general permit for pest control within irrigation district boundaries. Information about permit coverage is provided below. DEQ believes these general permits should result in long-range, beneficial impact on water quality in Oregon.
Pesticide Use in Irrigation Systems (2000-J)
The 2000-J general permit regulates the use of pesticides for weed and algae control within irrigation system boundaries. Permit coverage is available for 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 and any irrigation system operating under an individual permit. Registration is required to receive permit coverage under this general permit.
Effective Nov. 16, 2020 this 2000-J General Permit is available for registration.
2000-J permit and supporting information:
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, including the 2300-A General Permit on
DEQ's Water Quality Permits home page.
This permit is currently expired and cannot be assigned to new applicants. If this permit applies to your pest control activity and you do not have a permit, please contact the appropriate regional office and ask to speak with that regional Water Quality Permit Coordinator.
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.
Basic information about the permit
Links to the expired 2300-A permit and supporting information
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 Interactive Mapping Tool to identify biotic ligand model copper regions as well as latitude and longitude information.
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:
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).