Oregon Bulletin

January 1, 2012


Department of Environmental Quality
Chapter 340

Rule Caption: Revise “Initiation Level” rule for persistent pollutants in wastewater.

Adm. Order No.: DEQ 17-2011

Filed with Sec. of State: 11-18-2011

Certified to be Effective: 11-18-11

Notice Publication Date: 6-1-2011

Rules Amended: 340-045-0100

Subject: The amended rule suspends the requirement to develop pollutant reduction plans for cholesterol and coprostanol, and allows for DEQ to focus the list of pollutants for which permittees that become subject to the rule in the future must monitor. These revisions to the rule also provide clarity regarding the circumstances under which a permittee has met the requirements and no longer needs to have a reduction plan in place.

Rules Coordinator: Maggie Vandehey—(503) 229-6878


Initiation Level Rule

(1) Definitions. The definitions in ORS 468B.138 are adopted by reference. In addition, for purposes of this rule, the following definitions apply:

(a) “Persistent Pollutants” are substances that are toxic and that either persist in the environment or accumulate in the tissues of humans, fish, wildlife or plants, and are listed in Column 2 of Table A.

(b) “Permittee” means a municipality in possession of a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System or water pollution control facility permit issued by the DEQ pursuant to ORS 468B.050 for a sewage treatment facility that has a dry weather design flow capacity of one million gallons per day or more.

(c) “Initiation level” is the concentration of a persistent pollutant in a permittee’s effluent that, if exceeded, necessitates the preparation of a persistent pollutant reduction plan under ORS 468B.140.

(2) Initiation levels.

(a) Initiation levels for persistent pollutants are those values contained in Table A, or the analytical quantitation limit (concentration at which quantitative results can be reported with a high degree of confidence), whichever is higher.

(b) Initiation levels are not standards of quality and purity for the waters of this state for the purposes of ORS 468B.048 or the federal Clean Water Act.

(c) Except as specified in subsection (f), each permittee must measure the concentration of the persistent pollutants listed in Table A in its effluent, compare the results of these measurements to the initiation levels, determine whether any persistent pollutant exceeds its initiation level, and document this proposed determination in a report to DEQ. For existing permittees, the report must be filed no later than 60 calendar days after receipt of laboratory results. For permittees that first become subject to this rule after its effective date, the report must be filed within 18 months after the permittee becomes subject to the rule, unless the permittee requests and is granted a longer period by DEQ.

(d) DEQ will review this report to verify that the proposed determination is based on reliable information. If DEQ finds that the proposed determination is not based on reliable information, DEQ will make an independent determination of whether an initiation level has been exceeded.

(e) Except as specified in subsection (g), each permittee must prepare and submit to DEQ a written persistent pollutant reduction plan in accordance with ORS 468B.140(1)(a) addressing persistent pollutants that exceed the initiation level. For existing permittees, the plan must be submitted no later than July 1, 2011. For permittees that first become subject to this rule after the effective date of this rule, the plan must be submitted to DEQ within six months after the determination report required by subsection (c) is submitted, or, if DEQ makes an independent determination, six months from the date of DEQ’s independent determination or within a timeframe established by DEQ.

(f) DEQ may suspend, by written order, the requirement to measure or develop a persistent pollutant reduction plan for a listed persistent pollutant under the following circumstances:

(A) If DEQ determines it is not technically practicable to measure the pollutant in effluent or if DEQ removes a pollutant from the Priority Persistent Pollutant List; or

(B) If, based on additional monitoring done pursuant to a persistent pollutant reduction plan, DEQ determines that it is unlikely that a pollutant exists in a permittee’s effluent; or

(C) If sampling of a permittee’s effluent demonstrates that the pollutant concentration is lower than the initiation level; or

(D) If DEQ determines that there are no available laboratories capable of performing the analysis for the pollutant; or

(E) If a permittee is subject to duplicative or more stringent requirements addressing the same pollutant; or

(F) For permittees that become subject to this rule after this effective date, if DEQ determines a pollutant is unlikely to be present in effluent based on a review of available effluent data at the facility or similar facilities in the state.

(g) Permittees are not required to develop a persistent pollutant reduction plan to address cholesterol or coprostanol.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 468.020 & 468B.141

Stats. Implemented: ORS 468B.138 - 468B.144

Hist.: DEQ 6-2010, f. & cert. ef. 7-6-10; DEQ 3-2011(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 3-15-11 thru 9-11-11; Administrative correction 9-23-11; MHS 9-2011(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 11-22-11 thru 5-18-12; DEQ 17-2011, f. & cert. ef. 11-18-11

1.) This online version of the OREGON BULLETIN is provided for convenience of reference and enhanced access. The official, record copy of this publication is contained in the original Administrative Orders and Rulemaking Notices filed with the Secretary of State, Archives Division. Discrepancies, if any, are satisfied in favor of the original versions. Use the OAR Revision Cumulative Index found in the Oregon Bulletin to access a numerical list of rulemaking actions after November 15, 2011.

2.) Copyright 2012 Oregon Secretary of State: Terms and Conditions of Use

Oregon State Archives • 800 Summer St. NE • Salem, OR 97310