Procedures for developing methodologies for assessment of water quality
(1) The Department of Environmental Quality shall follow the procedures set forth in subsection (2) of this section:
(a) When developing or selecting among methodologies for the assessment of waters of the state pursuant to sections 303(d) and 305(b) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (P.L. 92-500), as amended, including, but not limited to, methodologies for applying the numeric and narrative standards of quality and purity for waters of the state adopted by the Environmental Quality Commission by rule under ORS 468B.030 (Effluent limitations), 468B.035 (Implementation of Federal Water Pollution Control Act) and 468B.048 (Rules for standards of quality and purity), and any numeric interpretation of narrative standards; and
(b) Prior to publishing draft assessments of water bodies based on the methodologies developed or selected under paragraph (a) of this subsection.
(2) When carrying out the duties set forth in subsection (1) of this section, the department shall:
(a) Solicit independent scientific and technical input, including scientific peer review as appropriate;
(b) Provide adequate public notice and an opportunity for public comment on draft assessment methodologies; and
(c) Provide an informational overview of the draft assessment methodologies before the commission. The informational overview shall include:
(A) A discussion of the scope of the assessment effort; and
(B) A summary of key issues raised through scientific and technical review and public comments and a discussion of how the department proposes to address the key issues raised.
(3) The commission shall provide an opportunity for public comment on the draft assessment methodologies during the commission meeting described in subsection (2)(c) of this section.
(4) Nothing in this section may be interpreted to affect the obligations of the department or the commission under ORS chapter 183 or ORS 468.020 (Rules and standards). [2015 c.587 §2]
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