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Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group. 2012 Regional Roundtable: Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center. Overview. Background on Columbia River Toxics Reduction Workgroup Current Activities Challenges. Columbia River Basin. ~ 260,000 sq miles

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columbia river toxics reduction working group

Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group

2012 Regional Roundtable: Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center

overview
Overview
  • Background on Columbia River Toxics Reduction Workgroup
  • Current Activities
  • Challenges

Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group

columbia river basin
Columbia River Basin
  • ~ 260,000 sq miles
  • 2 countries, 7 seven states, 22 Tribes
  • Largest flow to Pacific in N. & S. America
  • 8 million people – 1/3 in I-5 corridor
  • > 370 major dams
  • 13 endangered fish species
slide5

Toxics Are A Contemporary Issue

Mother Goose and Grimm – Feb. 14, 2006

background
Background
  • 1989: Lower Columbia Bi-State work.
  • 1994: CRITFC fish consumption survey.
  • 2002: CRITFC fish contaminant study.
  • 2005: Formation of Columbia River Basin Toxics Reduction Workgroup.
  • 2006: EPA designated Columbia River Large Aquatic Ecosystem (Great Lakes, Chesapeake), but no funding.

Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group

working group
Working Group
  • Workgroup established in 2005.
  • Multiple partners from around Basin; meets 3-4 times per year.
  • Increase collaboration/coordination across Basin; share information; and leverage limited resources.
  • First action: State of the River Report.

Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group

state of the river report
State of the River Report
  • Working group identified need to “tell story” about toxics.
  • Purpose of Report
    • Inform people, communities, and decision-makers about toxics problems and solutions
    • Serve as catalyst for stakeholder involvement and actions
    • Garner resources for toxics reduction and assessment efforts.

Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group

state of the river report1
State of the River Report
  • Focused on mercury, PCBs, DDTs, and PBDEs (recognize many other contaminants).
  • Identified indicator species to track over time
    • Juvenile Salmon
    • Resident Fish
    • Sturgeon
    • Predatory birds – osprey and bald eagle
    • Aquatic mammals – mink and river otter
    • Sediment-dwelling shellfish – Asian Clam
  • Included several broad initiatives.

Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group

2010 action plan
2010 Action Plan
  • Follow-up from State of River Report.
  • Five Initiatives (61 Proposed Actions)
    • #1: Increase understanding and political commitment
    • #2: Increase toxic reduction actions
    • #3: Increase monitoring to identify sources
    • #4:Develop research program
    • #5: Develop data management system

Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group

1 increase understanding
#1: Increase Understanding
  • Workshops around Basin
    • Agricultural – Pendleton and Wenatchee
    • PCBs – Portland
    • PBDEs - Portland
    • Green Chemistry – Portland
    • Pesticide Stewardship Program – Hood River
  • Continue to hold Workgroup meetings around Basin.

Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group

1 political commitment
#1: Political Commitment
  • August 2011: Executives from tribes, federal, state, and non-profits.
    • Committed to work together to reduce toxics
    • Formalized Columbia River Toxics Workgroup
  • November 2012: Second meeting of executives.
    • Develop and expand sustainable purchasing
    • Enhance existing programs (Pesticide Stewardship Partnership)
    • Emphasize stormwater control
    • Advocate for resources and TSCA reform
    • Address chemicals of emerging concern

Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group

1 political commitment1
#1: Political Commitment
  • 2010: Columbia River Restoration Act (Blumenauer – House; Merkley – Senate)
    • Authorized $33 million over 6 year.
    • Toxics reduction, habitat, and monitoring/research
    • Uses 2012 Action Plan and LCREP plan as basis
    • Passed out of Senate sub-committee but not full Senate
  • 2012: Senator Merkley and Congressman Blumenauer proposed to reintroduce.

Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group

2 toxics reduction actions
#2: Toxics Reduction Actions
  • Federal and State clean-up activities (Upper Columbia, Hanford, Portland Harbor, and Bradford Island).
  • Oregon fish consumption rate: WA/ID evaluating.
  • Oregon DEQ toxics reduction strategy: WA toxics reduction road map.
  • Removing toxics from communities (WA/OR banned PBDEs; WA reduce use of copper in brake pads; WA/OR/ID successful pesticide take-back programs; 50 local communities for pharmaceutical take-back programs; Hgreduction strategies)

Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group

3 monitoring
#3: Monitoring
  • No coordinated monitoring program.
  • Monitoring related to clean-up sites.
  • WA Ecology conducts monitoring for toxics.
  • Oregon DEQ toxic reduction strategy; monitoring program.
  • Workgroup assisted LCREP to update toxics monitoring plan and developed monitoring prioritization tool for Basin.

Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group

4 research
#4: Research
  • USGS: Initiated workgroup to develop research plan for chemicals of emerging concern.
  • USGS: Characterize occurrence and identify sources/pathways.
  • NOAA and USGS: Characterize impacts.

Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group

challenges
Challenges
  • No coordinated monitoring program to assess status/trends, identify sources, and measure effectiveness of actions.
  • Non-point sources challenging to control.
  • Chemicals of emerging concern.
  • Lack of funding.

Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group

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