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DEQ must set new pollution limits on hundreds more stream and river segments

EPA adds to list of areas requiring maximum pollutant load limits.


The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality must establish daily pollution load limits for 870 additional segments of rivers and streams throughout the state, under an Environmental Protection Agency ruling issued Dec. 14.

The 870 water bodies are in addition to 970 other stream and river segments deemed of limited water quality by the EPA in March, which also are subject to Total Maximum Daily Loads.

The original Clean Water Act, passed in 1972, required state environmental regulators to set Total Maximum Daily Loads on certain polluted water bodies. However, agencies have been slow to establish the limits, which have far-reaching consequences. One example is phosphorus in the Tualatin River, a component of treated sewage releases into the river. Reducing phosphorus in the river has required tens of millions of dollars in enhanced sewage treatment facilities.

For more information: www.deq.state.or.us/wq/assessment/rpt2010/search.asp.