Offenses Against Property

ORS 164.785
Placing offensive substances in waters, on highways or other property

(1)(a) It is unlawful for any person, including a person in the possession or control of any land, to discard any dead animal carcass or part thereof, excrement, putrid, nauseous, noisome, decaying, deleterious or offensive substance into or in any other manner befoul, pollute or impair the quality of any spring, river, brook, creek, branch, well, irrigation drainage ditch, irrigation ditch, cistern or pond of water.
(b)(A) In a prosecution under this subsection, it is a defense that:


The dead animal carcass that is discarded is a fish carcass;


The person returned the fish carcass to the water from which the person caught the fish; and


The person retained proof of compliance with any provisions regarding angling prescribed by the State Fish and Wildlife Commission pursuant to ORS 496.162 (Establishing seasons, amounts and manner of taking wildlife).


As used in this paragraph, “fish carcass” means entrails, gills, head, skin, fins and backbone.


It is unlawful for any person to place or cause to be placed any polluting substance listed in subsection (1) of this section into any road, street, alley, lane, railroad right of way, lot, field, meadow or common. It is unlawful for an owner thereof to knowingly permit any polluting substances to remain in any of the places described in this subsection to the injury of the health or to the annoyance of any citizen of this state. Every 24 hours after conviction for violation of this subsection during which the violator permits the polluting substances to remain is an additional offense against this subsection.


Nothing in this section shall apply to the storage or spreading of manure or like substance for agricultural, silvicultural or horticultural purposes, except that no sewage sludge, septic tank or cesspool pumpings shall be used for these purposes unless treated and applied in a manner approved by the Department of Environmental Quality.


Violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor.


The Department of Environmental Quality may impose the civil penalty authorized by ORS 468.140 (Civil penalties for specified violations) for violation of this section. [Formerly 449.105; 1983 c.257 §1; 1987 c.325 §1; 2013 c.132 §1]

See also annotations under ORS 449.105 in permanent edition.

Notes of Decisions

Tires were not “polluting substance” within meaning of this section. Mignot v. DEQ, 46 Or App 751, 613 P2d 86 (1980)

Law Review Citations

2 EL 181, 185, 187 (1971)


Last accessed
Mar. 11, 2023