Sep 02, 2015

Oregon DEQ Initiates Rulemaking to Revise Bacteria Water Quality Standards

The revisions will be based on the EPA's 2012 recommendations for recreational water quality criteria

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality bacteria recreational water

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is beginning a process to revise its water quality standard for bacteria for coastal recreation based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2012 recommendations for recreational water quality criteria. DEQ also anticipates clarifying how bacteria criteria apply to different designated uses, including coastal and freshwater recreation and shellfish harvesting. DEQ will develop designated use maps showing where these different uses apply.

Information about this rulemaking, including a draft rulemaking schedule and upcoming public meetings is posted on the Water Quality Standards Revisions for Bacteria website. Interested parties may also sign up to receive e-mail notices about the rulemaking on the website.

The Oregon Health Authority’s Oregon Beach Monitoring Program (OBMP) is simultaneously engaging in a process to adopt a bacteria level that it will use to issue beach advisories. This beach action value (BAV) will not be part of Oregon’s water quality standards under the Clean Water Act. More information about the BAV adoption is available on the OBMP’s webpage.