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Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group 2012 Regional Roundtable: Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center.

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Presentation on theme: "Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group 2012 Regional Roundtable: Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center."— Presentation transcript:

1 Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group 2012 Regional Roundtable: Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center

2 Overview Background on Columbia River Toxics Reduction Workgroup Current Activities Challenges October 24, 20122Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group

3 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

4 Columbia River Salmon Runs Once the Largest in the World Tribal Salmon fishing

5 Toxics Are A Contemporary Issue Mother Goose and Grimm – Feb. 14, 2006

6 Pollution Prevention is the Key to Reducing Toxics

7 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. October 24, 2012Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group7

8 Working Group Workgroup established in 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. October 24, 2012Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group8

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10 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. October 24, 2012Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group10

11 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. October 24, 2012Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group11

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13 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 October 24, 2012Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group13

14 #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. October 24, 2012Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group14

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18 #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 October 24, 2012Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group18

19 #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. October 24, 2012Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group19

20 #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; Hg reduction strategies) October 24, 2012Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group20

21 #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. October 24, 2012Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group21

22 #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. October 24, 2012Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group22

23 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. October 24, 2012Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group23


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