Oregon Pursuing Outstanding Resource Designation for North Fork Smith River

The proposal would designate the river, as well as its tributaries and associated wetlands, as Outstanding Resource Waters under Oregon's antidegradation regulations under the federal Clean Water Act. This would be the first such protection for a water body in Oregon.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is accepting public comments on a proposed rulemaking for the North Fork of the Smith River in Oregon that would designate the river, as well as its tributaries and associated wetlands, as Outstanding Resource Waters under Oregon's antidegradation regulations under the federal Clean Water Act. This would be the first such protection for a water body in Oregon.

Under the rulemaking, DEQ would set policies to protect the unique water quality values and outstanding values and ecological characteristics of the North Fork Smith River and its tributaries and associated wetlands.

DEQ will accept public comments on this rulemaking until 4 p.m. Feb. 28 via this page.

The North Fork Smith River is a 28-mile tributary of the Smith River that begins in Oregon and ends in California. It flows south to meet the Middle Fork Smith River at Gasquet, Calif., forming the Smith River.

Oregon DEQ also has scheduled two public hearings on the proposed rulemaking. The first hearing will begin at 3 p.m. Feb. 21 at DEQ Headquarters in Portland and the second starts at 6 p.m. Feb. 22 at the Best Western Harbor Inn, 16008 Boat Basin Road in Brookings.

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