Learn What’s New With The Oregon 1200-Z Stormwater Discharge Permit

Author: Ada H. Banasik, PE Published: August 23, 2017

After issuing two draft permits and reviewing two rounds of public comments, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality renewed the 1200-Z Stormwater Discharge Permit, which became effective on August 1. MFA tracked the permit renewal process and assisted Oregon industries with submitting public comments.

The renewed permit includes many minor revisions and clarifications and a few major ones. We have summarized the major permit changes and how they may affect industrial stormwater discharges in Oregon.

Watershed-Specific Benchmarks

The 1200-COLS permit, which was previously issued to facilities that discharge industrial stormwater to the Columbia Slough, was merged with the 1200-Z permit. The renewed 1200-Z permit includes watershed-specific requirements, such as effluent benchmarks, for the Columbia Slough, Columbia River, Portland Harbor, and the rest of the state (“Regional”).

All monitoring waivers that were granted under the old permit are now expired. DEQ will soon send new permit assignment letters outlining each facility’s stormwater monitoring requirements and benchmarks. Some benchmarks are lower.

Benchmark Changes Summary Table

Parameter Units Columbia River Columbia Slough Portland Harbor Regional
Total Copper mg/L 0.020 0.036 0.020 0.020 0.020
Total Lead mg/L 0.040 0.060 0.040 0.040 0.015
Total Zinc mg/L 0.12 0.24 0.12 0.12 0.090
TSS mg/L 100 50 30 100 30 100


Stormwater Pollution Control Plan (SWPCP) Revision

Facilities covered under the renewed permit will need to update their SWPCP and submit it to the DEQ or Agent by December 29, 2017.

Expanded Permit Coverage for Portland Harbor

The renewed permit expands the list of facilities in the Portland Harbor that require permit coverage to businesses that were not previously considered “industrial.” Material storage facilities, kennels and veterinarians, gas stations, mobile fueling, truck stops, and many other businesses in the Portland Harbor now have to apply for permit coverage. However, many of these facilities may qualify for a no exposure certification exemption. This exemption from permit coverage can be requested if industrial activities and materials are not exposed to stormwater runoff.

Tier II Corrective Action Implementation Deadline

The renewed permit allows Tier II facilities to request an extension of the Tier II treatment measures implementation deadline. The extension request must be approved by the DEQ. The permit does not outline specific approval criteria, but it is assumed that, similar to Washington and California, a technical basis for the extension will be required to justify the request (and the justification cannot be based on cost alone). This will be especially helpful for large projects or projects that require lengthy construction permitting.

pH Measurements and Reporting

The permit requires that pH be measured within 15 minutes of sample collection (i.e., in the field) using a calibrated pH meter (use of pH paper is not allowed). pH field records (i.e., meter calibration and pH measurements) must be attached to the annual discharge monitoring report.

Electronic Reporting

Web-based reporting will be required beginning in December 2020.

Contact Us

Contact Ada Banasik, Senior Engineer at 503-501-5222 if you are interested in learning more about how the benchmarks were calculated, need help revising your SWPCP, or would like to discuss how the renewed permit may impact your facility. If you own or operate a facility in the Portland Harbor, we can help you determine whether you need to apply for permit coverage.