The Oregon Department of Agriculture is taking a more aggressive approach to stop water pollution from farms. Instead of waiting for complaints to come in from the public, the state is going to begin looking for polluters.
Ray Jaindl is with the Agriculture Department. His staff is going to kick off the project this summer. Jaindl says the first thing they’ll look for is the lack of streamside vegetation. It’s needed to keep water cool.
Jaindl: “The second thing is upland conditions on whether or not there’s potential for erosion, and the third thing is positioning of waste, such as livestock waste that could get into the waters of the state.”
There will be two pilot projects. One on each side of the state. They will be in areas that have poor water quality.
When the Agriculture Department finds a problem, it will help the landowner make improvements. If the landowner doesn’t take action, enforcement will follow.
The state Board of Agriculture approved the new water quality plan Thursday.
Copyright 2013 Northwest Public Radio