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Non-regulatory efforts to combat nonpoint source pollution in Oregon Public Deposited

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  • This report and accompanying program inventory have been prepared in support of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality's statewide nonpoint source pollution control efforts and for use in the development of Oregon's new federally mandated Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program (CNPCP). When Congress reauthorized the Coastal Zone Management Act in 1990, it added significant new responsibilities for coastal states regarding water pollution from diffuse, widespread sources that in the past have not been regulated. Section 6217 of the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments (CZARA) requires states to adopt enforceable programs to address nonpoint source pollution arising from agriculture, forestry, urban runoff, recreational boating and marinas, channelization, dams and eroding stream banks. "Nonpoint source pollution" in this context includes any discharge to the state's waters which is not regulated by the Clean Water Act's permit system, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). When Congress mandated the coastal nonpoint source program, it directed that states' coastal programs and water quality agencies work together in developing and implementing the program. In Oregon, the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) are jointly responsible for the development of the coastal nonpoint control program. DLCD's Coastal Management Program implements provisions of the federal Coastal Zone Management Act. DEQ's Water Quality Division manages the statewide nonpoint source control program pursuant to Section 319 of the Clean Water Act (CWA). Staff at DLCD's Coastal Management Program prepared an extensive report and analysis of Oregon's current array of enforceable programs and the extent to which those programs satisfy the federal requirements for the new coastal program. Gaps in program coverage were identified, and efforts to fill those gaps are currently in progress. This report is a companion to the DLCD gap analysis. However, instead of focusing on enforceable programs, this report highlights nonpoint source control and watershed management programs that rely on voluntary efforts to achieve their goals. Staff at DEQ have identified nine types of activities which, together with enforcement, make constitute an effective watershed management program. This report presents an inventory of the state and federal government efforts currently underway within the state of Oregon which contribute to the control of nonpoint source pollution but do not rely on a regulatory program to do so. This is a time of extensive reevaluation and reordering of natural resource priorities and strategies at both the state and federal levels. The Clinton Forest Summit and the Forest Ecosystem Management Assessment Team (FEMAT) process have been examining federal forest policy from top to bottom. The two major federal land management agencies, the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, began reviewing their policies and practices well before the Forest Summit, and have made significant changes as a result. At the state level, the Watershed Health Initiative directed $10 million to two regions of the state during the 1993-95 biennium, in an unprecedented effort to restore salmon habitat and improve water quality. The impetus for change comes from the visible results of past natural resource management practices: the collapse of many native salmon runs and the decline in many other species leading to a great expansion of activity under the federal Endangered Species Act. The federal court logging injunction to protect the Northern Spotted Owl triggered much activity at the state and local levels in an effort to avoid further listings and the potential economic dislocations associated with them.
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