2013 October–December

  • DEQ Starts MS4 Phase II Advisory Committee
    DEQ has initiated an advisory to work with municipalities, environmental public interest groups, and others to develop a general permit for MS4 Phase II municipalities. The first meeting is November 7th in Portland; the group plans to meet every other month into September, 2014, alternating between Eugene and Portland. Information on the meetings, including draft agendas and background materials, is available online.

  • Wipe Out – Quantifying the Costs of Clogs
    Frank Dick made this presentation at the Chicago WEFTEC conference on the costs of clogs from wipes (Tech Session 610).

Also, Vancouver tested a variety of wipes that labeled as ‘flushable’ to determine their impact on the treatment plant. A copy of the report on the field testing of ‘flushables’ is here. (Vancouver Flushable Test Report)

  • DEQ Revises Odor Complaint Policy
    Oregon DEQ has revised its policy for handling nuisance odor complaints. As part of the discussions on the draft policy between ACWA and DEQ, DEQ staff have revised the policy to ensure that municipalities and districts with an odor complaint tracking system are given the opportunity to respond to and resolve odor complaints. A PDF of the revised policy is available online.

    The DEQ nuisance odor complaint policy states:
    If DEQ staff finds that a municipal waste water treatment plant has an established system for receiving and responding to complaints, they will provide the source an opportunity to resolve the odor problem using its own system.

    .Municipalities and districts without an odor tracking system can use these examples to put a system in place: If you have additional odor tracking systems to share with ACWA members, please provide them to the ACWA office

  • Environmental Groups Sue EPA over WA. Fish Consumption Rate
    Environmental public interest groups, along with commercial fishing groups, have filed suit against EPA for dragging out an update in the Washington Fish Consumption Rate, used to calculate human health related water quality standards. More information can be found in this Oregonian article.

  • RPA Spreadsheet Updated by DEQ - An updated Reasonable Potential Analysis spreadsheet from DEQ for domestic sources is available here

This tool from DEQ is important to use to predict areas where your effluent may have Reasonable Potential to exceed water quality standards so you can implement programs and/or compliance solutions to revolve those issues prior to having limits inserted in your NPDES permit.

A reminder that the ACWA “Toxic Tales” workshops held in January and February of 2012 had a bunch of great presentations related to this topic. The presentations are posted on the ACWA web site at http://www.oracwa.org/r-conf-wkshp-pres.html.

The ACWA winter 2012 workshop included information on the implementation of the toxic human health related water quality standards and a link to the newsletter is available at http://www.oracwa.org/members/pdf-newsletters/acwa-news-winter_2012.pdf

2013 July–September

    • EPA Chesapeake Bay TMDL Upheld
      A federal judge has upheld the Chesapeake Bay TMDL after a challenge by the American Farm Bureau. A copy of the federal judge’s order is here
    • King County Program for Collection of Unwanted Drugs
      The King County Board of Health passed the Secure Medicine Return Regulations on June 20, 2013, establishing an industry – funded product stewardship model to collect and safely dispose of unwanted household medicines from residents of the county. More about the program and its implementation is available at http://kingcountysecuremedicinereturn.org/

    • DEQ Updates Reasonable Potential Spreadsheets for Aquatic Species Criteria
      The DEQ Surface Water Management and Standards Sections recently completed a memo containing instructions for the Reasonable Potential Analysis (RPA) and calculation of Water Quality-based Effluent Limits (WQBELs) for metals water quality criteria. These criteria differ (from before) in that many of them are expressed in terms of dissolved concentration vs. total recoverable concentration.

      The memo walks a permit writer through the various steps to collect appropriate characterization data, multiple options to conduct the RPA and the process for calculation of WQBELs. It is expected that the RPA Spreadsheets and the permit template language will also be updated in the near future to reflect the new water quality criteria. If you have any questions, please contact Spencer Bohaboy of DEQ at 503-229-5415. 680-4170. The memo can be found at http://www.deq.state.or.us/wq/standards/docs/DissolvedMetalsMemo1.0.pdf

    • EPA Develops Nutrient Tool Kit
      EPA has developed a toolkit that provides all available Agency resources to facilitate state adoption of numeric nutrient criteria.The Toolkit of Resources to Provide States with Flexibility in Adopting and Implementing Numeric Nutrient Criteria presents states, territories, and tribes with the resources to address: criteria and standards development; water quality monitoring, assessment, reporting, and planning; permitting, WQBELs, and trading; economics and financing; and communications materials. This dynamic toolkit will be updated as new Agency materials are developed. A link to the tool kit is at: http://www2.epa.gov/nutrient-policy-data/toolkit-resources-provide-states-flexibility-adopting-and-implementing-numeric?utm_source=Water+Headlines+for+Week+of+September+10&utm_campaign=Water+Headlines+Sept+11&utm_medium=email

    • EQ Presentation on Temperature Standards
      DEQ used this presentation to outline issues and options for the Oregon temperature standard to the Environmental Quality Commission at its August 2013 meeting in LaGrande.

    • EPA Updates Ammonia Water Quality Criteria
      EPA has published its updated 2013 Freshwater Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Ammonia. The criteria recommendations have been lowered to protect freshwater mussels. The entire standard discussion is at: http://water.epa.gov/scitech/swguidance/standards/criteria/aqlife/ammonia/upload/AQUATIC-LIFE-AMBIENT-WATER-QUALITY-CRITERIA-FOR-AMMONIA-FRESHWATER-2013.pdf

    • DEQ Sets Nuisance Odor Policy
      DEQ has formalized its policy on how to review and resolve odor complaints. A copy of the policy is available at http://www.oregon.gov/deq/docs/NuisanceOdorReport.pdf

    • EPA Reviews Oregon Anti-Degradation Policies
      As part of the overall temperature federal litigation, EPA also reviewed and provided comments on Oregon’s guidance (called an Internal Management Directive) for antidegradation. Here is a copy of the EPA cover letter and the detailed analysis.

    • EPA Disapproves Oregon Temperature Standard
      As expected, EPA disapproved the natural conditions criterion contained in Oregon’s water quality standard for temperature on August 8th, 2013. EPA also disapproved the general natural conditions criterion contained in Oregon’s statewide narrative criteria, which applied to other naturally occurring substances and conditions of water.

      The EPA letter and a DEQ fact sheet are available at http://www.deq.state.or.us/wq/standards/temperature.htm

      DEQ also sent sources a letter outlining the decision and its impacts on NPDES permit holders on 8/9/13.

    • Website Features New Integrated Planning Webpage
      NACWA’s website now features an Integrated Planning (IP) resource page. The Association created the IP issue page in response to Member Agency feedback noting a lack of readily available IP information and guidance. The webpage houses valuable resources, model integrated plans, and guidance documents to assist clean water agencies. It also allows utilities exploring IP options to see how other communities have engaged local regulators and EPA in their processes. Timely information on NACWA’s continued IP advocacy is also included.

    • Oregon DEQ Completes Updated, Integrated Wastewater Facility Planning Document Guidelines
      Oregon DEQ—working in concert with the Oregon Infrastructure Finance Authority, Rural Community Assistance Corporation, and USDA Rural Development—has completed an updated, integrated wastewater facility planning document.

      Preparing Wastewater Planning Documents and Environmental Reports for Public Utilities (5/13) outlines a consolidated approach for utility planning, including asset management and effective utility management, along with aligning and/or merging planning document requirements for wastewater improvement funding from Oregon DEQ, Infrastructure Finance Authority, Rural Community Assistance Corporation, and USDA Rural Development Corporation into a single set of recommended procedures. These new guidelines are based on an interagency memorandum dated January 16, 2013 that contains both general and detailed outlines for a preliminary engineering report (also known as a wastewater facilities plan).

      While the document was developed specifically for wastewater utilities serving less than 10,000 people, DEQ is asking all utilities to follow these guidelines.The document is available on the DEQ web site at http://www.deq.state.or.us/wq/loans/docs/FacilitiesPlansGuidelines.pdf.

    • ACWA Construction Site Stormwater Guide
      A group of ACWA members have produced the Construction Site Stormwater Guide to highlight the most common Best Management Practices to prevent erosion and construction site stormwater pollution. It is an easy-to-read style with Illustrations and pictures.

    • NWEA and EPA Settle Federal Case on Oregon Temperature Standards
      Northwest Environmental Advocates and EPA have settled a case before Judge Acosta on the Oregon temperature standards. Under the settlement, EPA has 120 days to develop a plan for resolving the key issues related to the use of natural thermal potential in the Oregon temperature standard. A copy of the order is here.

2013 January–March

    • ACWA Completes Report on Septage Practices
      ACWA has completed a report summarizing ACWA member practices and pricing for accepting septage. Utility managers may want to review the report to compare their utilities practices and fee schedules

    • Oregon Water Quality Standards for Metals – Dissolved & Total Recoverable
      With EPA’s disapproval of selected Oregon water quality standards related to aquatic species, some Oregon water quality standards for metals are based on dissolved concentrations and some on total recoverable concentrations. This EPA Guidance The Metals Translator: Guidance for Calculating a Total Recoverable Permit Limit from a Dissolved Criterion (1996) may be useful

    • Oregon DEQ Wastewater System Operator Certification Program
      announces Rule Implementation - effective March 1, 2013

      On December 6, 2012, the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission adopted
      a rule revision for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality wastewater system operator certification program. The revised rule:

      •increases the current operator certification and program support fees
      •includes a Small Wastewater System certification
      •revises system supervisor compliance requirement
      •clarifies “acceptable operating experience” language
      •revises exam scheduling language and re-exam time frame
      •revises standing advisory committee language

    View the fact sheet at:
    Program information website:

    • US Fish & Widlife Service – Oregon WQ Standards
      Link to this Q & A piece that describes additional details on the US Fish &
      Wildlife opinion that some Oregon aquatic life related water quality criteria do not protect some endangered species

    • DEQ Adopts Guidance on Mercury in NPDES Permits
      DEQ has adopted an Internal Management Directive (…think guidance) that outlines how it will implement the methyl mercury criterion in NPDES permits. All major NPDES permit holders will want to review the guidance to determine its impacts regarding required monitoring and development of mercury reduction plans, if needed. http://www.deq.state.or.us/wq/pubs/imds/IMDmethylmercuryCriterion.pdf

    • What are the Water Quality Standards in Oregon?
      With EPA’s move to disapprove a number of water quality standards related to aquatic life in January, 2013, knowing the applicable water quality standards is difficult. This link to the DEQ web site summarizes the effective standards: http://www.deq.state.or.us/wq/standards/toxics.htm

    • American Rivers Report Outlines Permitting Improvements for Green Infrastructure
      This report by American Rivers provides a survey of several, new generation stormwater permits that take strong steps to keep stormwater from running into our streams, lakes and rivers. These permits succeed by establishing a preference for green infrastructure as the best way to manage stormwater. The report documents several approaches that states have adopted to increase the use of green infrastructure, and provides clear examples of how motivated watershed advocates can provide information and support to permit writers. http://www.americanrivers.org/newsroom/resources/permitting-green-infrastructure.html

    • ACWA Board Discusses Priorities with DEQ Water Quality Staff
      In a brown bag discussion on 2/14/13 - - Oregon’s birthday - - ACWA Board members and Executive Director Janet Gillaspie discussed the ACWA 2013 priorities with DEQ Water Quality program staff. A PDF of the presentation is posted here.

    • Presentation for Special Districts
      ACWA Executive Director, Janet Gillaspie, provided information and updates to the SDAO Sanitary Caucus at its meeting in Portland on 2/8/13.

    • DEQ Presentation on Methyl Mercury
      See the presentation DEQ staff made to the ACWA Water Quality Committee, 2/7/13, on the DEQ Internal Management Directive on mercury issues in NPDES Permits.

    • Plumbing Board Adopts FOG Amendments
      Effective January 1, 2013, the Oregon Plumbing Specialty Code has been revised to require all sinks in the kitchen of a food service establishment be connected to a grease removal device and the device be properly sized to handle that amount of grease. The amendments were prompted by ACWA members and other municipalities concerned about inadequate FOG controls at restaurants impacting sewer collection systems. ACWA plans an outreach and education program on FOG for 2013. The revised rules are available at: http://www.cbs.state.or.us/bcd/notices/Adopted_Rules/2012/20121221_FOGCodeAmendments_pr.pdf

    • EQ Outlines Plans for Methyl Mercury
      DEQ has outlined its plans for addressing methyl mercury issues if NPDES permit holders exceed Reasonable Potential for mercury. A memo from DEQ outlining how the requirements will be inserted into NPDES permit is here and a link to the DEQ guidance (called an Internal Management Directive is posted at http://www.deq.state.or.us/wq/pubs/imds/IMDmethylmercuryCriterion.pd

    • TMDL Implementation 5th Year Review Guidance for the 2006 Willamette Basin TMDL
      The Basin Coordinator representing your geographic area has, or will be, contacting Willamette Basin Designated Management Agencies (DMAs) regarding the 5th year review report due date and distribution of the December 2012 guidance template.

    The guidance is subbasin and TMDL specific, and coordination and distribution of the guidance for the 5th Year Review will be coordinated by the Basin Coordinator that represents your geographic area. Contacts are below.

    ACWA Members can contact Basin Coordinators to confirm their 5th Year Report due date and obtain a copy of the guidance in advance of DEQ contacting them.

    The December 2012 TMDL Implementation Plan Guidance – 5th Year Review Report Template for City and County Designated Management Agencies is preliminary and has been designed for the receipt of the first set of Willamette 5th Year Review Reports due starting in April 2013. Upon use and feedback over the next several months, and more years of TMDL implementation on-the-ground, it is likely that guidance will continue to evolve and be more specific to BMP effectiveness and more adaptable for statewide use.



* Note: Molalla-Pudding &Tualatin 5th year schedules differ from the 2006 Willamette TMDL. Yamhill TMDL is pending.

Basin Coordinator Name and Telephone



Lower Willamette Mainstem: Includes Tyron, Kellogg, Johnson, Columbia Slough

Doug Drake



Middle Willamette Mainstem: Includes Rickreall, Mill Creek, Luckiamute, Chehalem

Nancy Gramlich



Upper Willamette Mainstem: Includes Marys, Long Tom, MuddyCreek, Calapooia

Pamela Wright



Clackamas and Molalla* Subbasins

Karen Williams



Coast Fork, McKenzie, Middle, Fork Willamette, South Santiam Subbasins

Pamela Wright



North Santiam, Pudding,* and Yamhill* Sub-basins

Nancy Gramlich




Avis Newell



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