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Portland, OR—Statement from DEQ Director Richard Whitman

“Today ODEQ submitted a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency objecting to EPA’s recently released draft water quality permits (known as NPDES permits) for four federally operated dams on the Lower Columbia River. DEQ objected to the lack of requirements to address the dam operations effects on temperature and total dissolved gas levels in the Columbia River. Under Section 401(a)(2) of the Clean Water Act, EPA is required to hold a hearing to address DEQ’s objections. Oregonians want and expect protections that ensure safe and healthy water in the Columbia River. Oregon DEQ intends to continue using its authorities to ensure water quality is protected in the Columbia. ”

-Richard Whitman, Director

View DEQ's May 15 letter to EPA at:

DEQ's mission is to be a leader in restoring, maintain and enhancing the quality of Oregon's air, land and water.


Media contact: Jennifer K. Flynt, DEQ public affairs specialist, 503-730-5924,

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