Senate bill 737: Field of Dreams?

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Senate Bill 737, passed by the 2007 Legislature, requires the State to compile a list of Toxic Chemicals that are Persistent and/or Bioaccumulative. The Proposed “Priority Persistent Pollutant” List contains 175 chemicals which can be found on the DEQ website: http://www.deq.state.or.us/wq/SB737

By July 2011, Oregon’s 52 largest wastewater treatment plants will have to develop plans to reduce pollutants measured above either the new state thresholds or existing drinking water standards. Those plans, paid for through sewer rates, are likely to include public education efforts and funding for specific pollution reduction programs.

Please note that this list is IN ADDITION TO the 122 EPA Priority Pollutants for which wastewater treatment plants already must test!

Further, in a Field of Dreams strategy (“build it and they will come”) the proposed List does not yet include any analytical methods. There is an advisory committee that is researching methods, but I haven’t seen anything published yet, so at this point there is no way to estimate the cost of this monitoring for treatment plants.

What does this List mean to Oregon environmental labs? Take a look at it and decide for yourself. We are going to hear a lot more about it in the coming months.