Water Quality

ORS 468B.050
Water quality permit

  • issuance by rule or order
  • rules


Except as provided in ORS 468B.053 (Alternatives to obtaining water quality permit) or 468B.215 (Fees), without holding a permit from the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality or the State Department of Agriculture, which permit shall specify applicable effluent limitations, a person may not:


Discharge any wastes into the waters of the state from any industrial or commercial establishment or activity or any disposal system.


Construct, install, modify or operate any disposal system or part thereof or any extension or addition thereto.


Increase in volume or strength any wastes in excess of the permissive discharges specified under an existing permit.


Construct, install, operate or conduct any industrial, commercial, confined animal feeding operation or other establishment or activity or any extension or modification thereof or addition thereto, the operation or conduct of which would cause an increase in the discharge of wastes into the waters of the state or which would otherwise alter the physical, chemical or biological properties of any waters of the state in any manner not already lawfully authorized.


Construct or use any new outlet for the discharge of any wastes into the waters of the state.


The Department of Environmental Quality or the State Department of Agriculture may issue a permit under this section as an individual, general or watershed permit. A permit may be issued to a class of persons using the procedures for issuance of an order or for the adoption of a rule. Notwithstanding the definition of “order” or “rule” provided in ORS 183.310 (Definitions for chapter), in issuing a general or watershed permit by order pursuant to this section, the State Department of Agriculture or Department of Environmental Quality:


Is not required to direct the order to a named person or named persons; and


May include in the order agency directives, standards, regulations and statements of general applicability that implement, interpret or prescribe law or policy.


The State Department of Agriculture or the Department of Environmental Quality may define “confined animal feeding operation” by rule for purposes of implementing this section. [Formerly 449.083 and then 468.740; 1997 c.286 §6; 2001 c.248 §4; 2005 c.523 §4]

(formerly 449.083, then 468.740)

See also annotations under ORS 449.083 in permanent edition.

Notes of Decisions

Discharge that violates terms of permit is punishable only under ORS 468B.025, not as discharge made without permit. Environmental Quality Commission v. City of Coos Bay, 171 Or App 106, 14 P3d 649 (2000)

Person may not discharge waste into state waters if that discharge would reduce quality of water below state's water quality standards unless person has permit from Department of Environmental Quality that specifically authorizes discharge. Tualatin Riverkeepers v. Department of Environmental Quality, 235 Or App 132, 230 P3d 559 (2010), Sup Ct review denied

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Lessee filling tidelands as requiring a permit, (1971) Vol 35, p 844

Law Review Citations

2 EL 99, 181 (1971)

§§ 468B.005 to 468B.095

(formerly 468.700 to 468.778)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

State's authority to prevent or control removal by dredging of a privately owned island in a navigable river, (1972) Vol 36, p 285


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021