(1)It is the policy of the Environmental Quality Commission:
(a)To implement a water quality program goal to prevent, abate and control waste discharges to the waters of the state to ensure that water quality standards are maintained and beneficial uses are protected;
(b)To apply for instream water rights for pollution abatement where such action provides a public benefit as defined in OAR 340-056-0100 (Definitions), subject to available resources, and subject to the priorities and criteria set forth in these rules;
(c)To maintain streamflows in water quality limited receiving streams to assimilate the identified total maximum daily pollution load;
(d)To protect streamflows as needed in Outstanding Resource Waters and High Quality Waters to ensure that water quality standards are maintained and beneficial uses are protected.
(2)It is further noted by the Commission that:
(a)The above policies do not replace, exempt or diminish any existing policy, rule, standard or guideline of the Commission, or any permit condition, load allocation or wasteload allocation. This policy does not replace the policy of the Commission to give preference to no-discharge alternatives for new or expanding facilities (see 340-041-0026(4)). Nor does it replace the policy of the Commission to require highest and best practicable treatment and control of wastes, activities and flows (see OAR 340-041 “Water Quality Standards Not to be Exceeded”);
(b)The establishment of an instream water right does not guarantee the presence of flow in the stream. All flow-based permit conditions, wasteload allocations, and all rules of the Commission shall be managed and enforced based on the actual streamflow, not on the amount of flow specified in an instream water right certificate.
Rule 340-056-0015 — Policy,