The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has proposed revisions to the state’s water quality standards that, according to the agency, “ensure greater health protection for Oregonians who eat fish from state waters and cleaner waterways for providing drinking water to Oregonians.”

The proposed revisions would affect cities and facilities that discharge one or more regulated pollutants to state waters, including mercury, flame retardants, PCBs, dioxins, plasticizers, and pesticides. The revisions may also affect forestry, agriculture, construction, and other activities if toxic pollutants such as the pesticide endosulfan, PCBs and the now-banned but persistent pesticides DDT and aldrin are discharged.

DEQ will hold hearings throughout February 2011 in several cities. According to press reports, the proposed revisions would result in Oregon having the strictest water quality standards in the United States. See, January 6, 2011.