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Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC)

Oregon DEQ Agrees to Settle NEDC’s Lawsuit to Reduce Pollution from Stormwater Runoff at Industrial Facilities

August 20, 2018

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In a victory for water quality statewide, NEDC and Columbia Riverkeeper reached a legal settlement with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (“DEQ”) regarding the contents of the permit responsible for regulating toxic stormwater pollution from over 800 industrial sites in the state, including scrapyards, truck depots, and lumberyards.

In 2017, NEDC and Columbia Riverkeeper raised concerns to DEQ about the weak pollution limits and loose reporting requirements in the agency’s General Stormwater Permit. When DEQ initially declined to make the necessary changes, NEDC and Columbia Riverkeeper filed a lawsuit in state court to ensure that the agency complied with the law. This past week, NEDC and Columbia Riverkeeper reached a settlement agreement with DEQ in which the agency agreed to address these concerns. Under the agreement, DEQ has committed to improving the permit by strengthening protections for rivers that are already overburdened with pollution, improving pollution reporting, and enacting stronger pollution limits where technically feasible. The improved permit will result in stronger protections for our beloved Oregon waterways, and the humans and species, including salmon, that depend on them.

NEDC thanks the Earthrise Law Center and the Law Office of Karl G. Anuta, P.C., who represented NEDC and Columbia Riverkeeper in the lawsuit.

For more Information on the lawsuit and the settlement, see the following links: