New Oregon streamflow assessment tool aids Clean Water Act compliance

Sponsored by

PORTLAND, OR, Dec. 1, 2011 -- The challenging task of determining if a particular stream is protected under federal and state fill and disposal regulations just became a little easier. The new Streamflow Duration Assessment Method for Oregon will help natural resource professionals, consultants and regulators identify whether a fill or removal project with potential stream impacts must obtain permits.

Section 404 of the federal Clean Water Act and Oregon's Removal-Fill Law require permits to protect water resources when someone plans to place soil, dredged or other material in regulated waters.

This new method provides a consistent, repeatable and quick way to identify whether an Oregon stream is intermittent, perennial or ephemeral. Intermittent streams, which flow seasonally, and perennial streams, which flow continuously, are typically subject to both state and federal regulations. Ephemeral streams only flow after rainfall or during snowmelt, and under current agency practice are protected under the Clean Water Act if they have a significant effect on the integrity of larger downstream waters.

The science-based tool was released in November after a two-year trial run. The method was tested and refined at over 170 sites in western and eastern Oregon during both the wet and dry seasons. During the field trial, the initial 21 indicators were reduced to just 7 reliable indicators.

The method proved accurate in many environments including natural, modified and braided channels. It is a scientific tool that is useful anytime the duration of streamflow must be determined, and may help identify other stream-related issues. Because of the demonstrated benefit in Oregon, the method is already being adapted for use in Idaho and Washington.

"We think this tool will help people understand when to get a permit and help the permitting process move faster and more smoothly," said EPA's Dr. Tracie Nadeau, Environmental Scientist. "Many people collaborated to develop and refine this assessment method, which uses solid science to help protect the waters of Oregon and the United States."

The Streamflow Duration Assessment Method for Oregon was developed by scientists and technical experts from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Oregon Department of State Lands. The method is recommended for use whenever there is uncertainty about streamflow duration.


Sponsored by

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Water Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox or Mailbox

Subscribe to one of our magazines or email newsletters today at no cost and receive the latest information.


NSF Int'l, Global-Mark partner to provide certification of plumbing products in Australia

NSF International and Global-Mark have partnered to provide WaterMark certification, which is required for all plumbing products used in Australia.

NAWC formally announces new Board of Directors for organization

Earlier this week, the National Association of Water Companies officially announced the organization's new board of directors at its annual Water Summit in the city of Scottsdale, Ariz.

DC Water unveils $470M waste-to-energy project using first-of-its-kind technology

DC Water has unveiled its $470-million waste-to-energy project that is producing a net 10 megawatts of electricity from the wastewater treatment process, ultimately providing clean, renewable energy to power about one-third of the Blue Plains plant's energy needs.

Water Environment Federation officially announces 2015-2016 Board of Trustees

The Water Environment Federation has officially announced the members of its 2015-2016 Board of Trustees. The team was confirmed by WEF's House of Delegates at a ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 29, during WEFTEC 2015 in Chicago, Ill.




© 2015. PennWell Corporation. All Rights Reserved. PRIVACY POLICY | TERMS AND CONDITIONS