The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has withdrawn its proposal to weaken water quality standards in the vital Crooked River and Trout Creek, key tributaries for wild fish in the Deschutes River.
In January 2022, DEQ initiated a significant process to revise temperature and dissolved oxygen criteria based on how fish and aquatic life use each waterbody. These criteria are pivotal for water quality restoration plans and guide decisions on wastewater discharge permits.
Within this extensive rule package, there was a proposal to relax the pH criteria for Crooked River and Trout Creek, home to critical habitat for bull trout and summer steelhead, respectively.
Over the past two years, Trout Unlimited, partners, and the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife have opposed DEQ’s attempt to weaken pH criteria in these streams. The Environmental Quality Commission will review the comprehensive rule package next week, and we’re pleased to announce that the official materials exclude the problematic pH criteria change recommendation.
For more information, check out this post from oregon.gov.