About the program
The Pesticide Stewardship Partnership (PSP) Program is a voluntary program that relies on local partnerships to monitor pesticide levels in waterways and enact solutions to protect water quality while managing pests and maintaining crop yield. Local efforts include implementing projects based on technical assistance, outreach, and education. The PSP works as a feedback loop with the water quality sampling data continuously being used to evaluate pesticides of concern, the effectiveness of education and collaborative projects on an annual basis.
Every two years the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality assesses state water ways for water quality standards. Water bodies that do not meet water quality standards will likely receive a 303-d listing. With a 303-d listing there is a DEQ required management plan in place to control certain pollutants, such as pesticides. The multi-agency PSP is an alternative to a 303-d listing, and the restrictions and actions associated with this listing. This is why many pesticide users support the PSP Program, it allows an opportunity for education, technical assistance and increased awareness to take place, prior to the possibility of regulatory action by DEQ.
There are currently eight PSP areas across the state that cover a range of land use and partner groups. The goals of the PSP program are to:
- Identify potential concerns and improve water quality affected by pesticide use around Oregon.
- Combine local expertise in water quality sampling results to encourage voluntary changes in pesticide use and management practices.
- Find ways to reduce pesticide levels while measuring improvements in water quality and crop management.
- Work toward measurable environmental improvements, making Oregon waters safer for aquatic life and humans.
Each year, ODA reviews the water quality data with other agencies and our local partners to look for improvements in water quality. A comprehensive list of program successes can be found in the biennial report.
In the Yamhill PSP basin, the total number of pesticide detections decreased from 751 in 2019 to 231 in 2021, a decrease of 69 percent. Similarly, the total number of exceedances decreased from 72 in 2019 to 46 in 2020 and, in 2021, there were only 16 exceedances of a water quality criterion or ALB.
In 2021 in the Clackamas PSP basin, only one analyte, chlorpyrifos, exceeded the water quality criteria/aquatic life benchmark values. In 2020 five analytes were detected at concentrations exceeding their water quality criteria or aquatic life benchmarks (chlorpyrifos, diuron, bifenthrin, imidacloprid, and acephate).
Endangered species in PSP areas
A main goal of the PSP is to improve water quality for local aquatic life. Oregon is home to many threatened or endangered fish and other freshwater animals. The species below are listed either as threatened or endangered in Oregon or federally. By keeping pesticides out of waterways, we can help preserve these species.
|Amazon||coastal cutthroat trout|
|Clackamas||spring chinook, coho salmon, winter steelhead, coastal cutthroat, pacific lamprey, rainbow trout, reticulate sculpin|
|Hood River||coho salmon, summer steelhead, winter steelhead, coastal cutthroat, redband trout|
|Middle Deschutes||summer steelhead, redband trout|
|Middle Rogue||coho salmon, coastal cutthroat trout, summer steelhead, winter steelhead, pacific lamprey, rainbow trout|
|Pudding||spring chinook, coho salmon, winter steelhead, coastal cutthroat, pacific lamprey, rainbow trout|
|Walla Walla||margined sculpin, redband trout, bull trout, summer steelhead, redband trout, pacific lamprey|
|Wasco||spring chinook, fall chinook, coho salmon, summer steelhead, coastal cutthroat trout, pacific lamprey, redband trout|
|Yamhill ||spring chinook, winter steelhead, coastal cutthroat trout|
Who manages the PSP?
ODA is the state lead for the PSP program. ODA created an interagency team, the Water Quality Pesticide Management Team (WQPMT), composed of representatives from multiple state agencies has been formed to efficiently address the protection of waters of the state from pesticide contamination.
The WQPMT consists of representatives from the following agencies and academic institution:
- Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA)
- Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)
- Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW)
- Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF)
- Oregon State University (OSU)
The WQPMT meets virtually on the third Thursday every other month. Meeting agendas and minutes are posted below.
Feedback from the public
The PSP Advisory Group (AG) represents a wide range of community groups interested in pesticide use and environmental topics. The AG was created to provide suggestions to the WQPMT on issues related to the administration of the Pesticide Stewardship Partnership. Members of this group include:
- Beyond Toxics
- Walla Walla Basin Watershed Council
- Oregon Forest and Industries Council
- Oregon Farm Bureau
- Oregon Board of Agriculture
- Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
- Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District
- Oregon Environmental Council
- Oregonians for Food and Shelter
- City of Newport, Oregon
- Oregon Association of Nurseries
Waste Pesticide Collection Program
Unused or unwanted pesticides, especially those in aging or damaged containers, can accidentally expose people to chemicals or cause pesticides to accidently enter waterways in many ways. ODA offers free collection events for proper pesticide disposal from agricultural and commercial applicators. Inventory from pesticide retailers, up to 1,000lbs per company per year, is occasionally considered to fill smaller events. Household pesticides can be disposed of through the Household Hazardous Waste Program. These events are partially funded by pesticide registration fees. Over 719,000 lbs of pesticides have been collected and removed from the environment since 2006.
All 2022 collection events have been completed. The schedule for 2023 will be announced after it's finalized.