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Water Quality

Senate Bill 737 

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Senate Bill 737 Implementation: Addressing Priority Persistent Pollutants in Oregon's Water

Fact Sheet: Implementing Senate Bill 737 - June 6, 2011 Update  PDF

Background

The P3 List:  The 2007 Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 737, which requires DEQ to consult with all interested parties by June 2009 to develop a list of priority persistent bioaccumulative toxics (Priority Persistent Pollutant List) that have a documented effect on human health, wildlife and aquatic life. In order to develop the Priority Persistent Pollutant List, DEQ assembled a technical workgroup, representing expertise in various scientific sectors, to provide advice and comment. Members of the group served a 10-month term (August 2008-May 2009). The group met approximately every three to four weeks for about a half-day each meeting.  Read more about the list.

Legislative Report:  In June 2010, DEQ again reported to the Legislature. The report identifies potential local, regional, and global sources of persistent pollutants that may contribute to water pollution in Oregon.  It also outlines measures that state agencies, local governments, businesses, manufacturers and individuals could implement to reduce the presence of these pollutants in Oregon waters.

The report, Reducing Persistent Pollutants in Oregon's Waters: SB 737 Legislative Report, and attachments are available for download using the links in the document archive at the bottom of this webpage.

The work to develop the P3 List and Legislative Report began in July 2008 and was accomplished over two years by two new positions. These positions were funded by a surcharge fee on the 52 largest municipal wastewater plants in Oregon. Depending on the amount of wastewater processed, each municipality paid a total surcharge ranging from $6,976 to $20,926 over two years.

Persistent Pollutant Reduction Plans:  SB 737 also requires Oregon's 52 large municipal wastewater treatment plants to develop plans by 2011 for reducing priority persistent pollutants through pollution prevention and toxics reduction.

What is a Persistent Pollutant?

A priority persistent pollutant is a substance that is toxic and either persists in the environment or accumulates in the tissues of humans, fish, wildlife or plants. DEQ has developed a Priority Persistent Pollutant List of 118 pollutants that meet this definition.

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Revised Initiation Level Rule

On October 20, 2011, the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) adopted permanent changes to the Initiation Level Rule, suspending municipalities' requirement to develop Persistent Pollutant Reduction Plans for cholesterol and coprostanol; the revised rule also clarifies when a permittee is no longer subject to the monitoring and reduction plan requirement for other pollutants (Oregon Administrative Rule 340-045-0100).

More information is included in the rulemaking documents posted below.

Staff Report

Revised Rule and Supporting Documents

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Municipal Effluent Screening

DEQ worked with municipalities to coordinate sampling and analyses for P3-listed pollutants, and continues to support municipalities through plan development and implementation.

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Technical Workgroups

DEQ convened two workgroups of experts who provided technical advice during the list development process, and a third workgroup to provide technical advice regarding monitoring.  Learn more about the members of these workgroups and read meeting materials:

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Working Together for Clean Water - DEQ Toxics Links

Because toxic pollutants cross social and political boundaries, DEQ coordinated extensively with other state and federal agencies, tribal nations, outside experts, stakeholders, interested parties and the general public. Protecting Oregonians from the impacts of toxic pollutants is a strategic priority for DEQ, and DEQ addresses toxic pollutants through many of its programs.

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What You Can Do

DEQ and its partners are working to learn more about the pollutants on this list. Meanwhile, all Oregonians can take immediate action to reduce use of - and exposure to - persistent pollutants. Here are some resources to get you started:

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Document Archive

Plan Initiation Level Permanent Rule Revision

Plan Initiation Level Temporary Rule Revision

Plan Initiation Level Rule Background

Reducing Persistent Pollutants in Oregon's Waters: SB 737 Legislative Report - June 1, 2010

Final P3 List Documents - October 20, 2009

Contacts

For additional information, please contact Jennifer Wigal at Oregon DEQ at (503) 229-5323 or by email.

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Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Headquarters: 811 SW Sixth Ave., Portland, OR 97204-1390
Phone: 503-229-5696 or toll free in Oregon 1-800-452-4011
Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service: 1-800-735-2900  FAX: 503-229-6124

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is a regulatory agency authorized to protect Oregon's environment by
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