Columbia Riverkeeper Asks Oregon to Protect Endangered Salmon and Steelhead from Dangerous Pesticides
Columbia Riverkeeper, Northwest Environmental Advocates, and others are asking Oregon to toughen restrictions on pesticides that harm fish and aquatic life. Over the past few years, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has found that many common pesticides may be pushing endangered salmon and steelhead towards extinction. NMFS has outlined measures to reduce the risk that pesticides pose to salmon and steelhead, but Oregon has not adopted these measures. Unfortunately, Oregon’s rules regulating pesticides are vague, outdated, and unenforceable. Riverkeeper is asking Oregon to set meaningful water quality standards for pesticides, and to incorporate NMFS’ suggestions for regulating pesticides into existing Clean Water Act permits. Riverkeeper is also asking Oregon to ensure that the Departments of Agriculture and Forestry incorporate NMFS’ measures into these agencies’ practices and regulations. Oregon’s pesticide rules should, at the very least, protect endangered salmon and steelhead.