Authority to establish and enforce water quality standards by rule or order
- • limitation on authority
- • instream water quality standards
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, as necessary to achieve and maintain standards of water quality or purity adopted under ORS 468B.048 (Rules for standards of quality and purity), the Environmental Quality Commission or Department of Environmental Quality may, by rule or order, impose and enforce limitations or other controls which may include total maximum daily loads, wasteload allocations for point sources and load allocations for nonpoint sources, as provided in the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1321) and federal regulations and guidelines issued pursuant thereto.
(2) Unless required to do so by the provisions of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, neither the Environmental Quality Commission nor the Department of Environmental Quality shall promulgate or enforce any effluent limitation upon nonpoint source discharges of pollutants resulting from forest operations on forestlands in this state. Implementation of any limitations or controls applying to nonpoint source discharges or pollutants resulting from forest operations are subject to ORS 527.765 (Best management practices to maintain water quality) and 527.770 (Good faith compliance with best management practices not violation of water quality standards). However, nothing in this section is intended to affect the authority of the commission or the department provided by law to impose and enforce limitations or other controls on water pollution from sources other than forest operations.
(3) When the Environmental Quality Commission establishes instream water quality standards to protect designated beneficial uses in the waters of the state, it shall consider, where applicable, available scientific information including, but not limited to, streamflow, geomorphology and other factors representing the variability and complexity of hydrologic systems and intrinsic water quality conditions.
(4) When the Environmental Quality Commission establishes instream water quality standards, it will also issue guidelines describing how the department and the commission will determine whether water quality standards in waters affected by nonpoint source activities are being met. In developing these guidelines, the commission shall include, where applicable, those physical characteristics such as streamflow, geomorphology, seasons, frequency, duration, magnitude and other factors which represent the variability and complexity of forested and other appropriate hydrologic systems. [1991 c.919 §24; 2003 c.14 §302]
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