Columbia river toxics reduction working group
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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

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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


Columbia river salmon runs once the largest in the world

Columbia River Salmon Runs Once the Largest in the World

Tribal Salmon fishing


Columbia river toxics reduction working group

Toxics Are A Contemporary Issue

Mother Goose and Grimm – Feb. 14, 2006


Columbia river toxics reduction working group

Pollution Prevention is the Key to Reducing Toxics


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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