Regulatory Affairs (RAD) conducts research and analyzes water quality data, updates the Tualatin River Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL), performs compliance and monitoring, and provides input on the development of state and federal regulations. RAD includes Administration, which handles compliance services, Environmental Services and Laboratory Services.
The Administration group provides technical, scientific, regulatory and policy support to CWS. Work includes analyzing environmental data related to the protection of public and watershed health and implementing the Tualatin River TMDL. The group also implements and complies with CWS’ watershed-based National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) wastewater discharge permit, the MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System permit), and air quality permits.
The group tracks, evaluates and influences the development of state and federal environmental regulations; prepares, reviews and coordinates reports related to monitoring, effluent discharges, noncompliance incidents and permit compliance; and coordinates, tracks, and reports on CWS’ Water Quality Credit Trading Program for temperature.
The Administration group coordinates and supports scientific studies in the Tualatin River Watershed conducted by organizations such as the U.S. Geological Survey, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and the Tualatin River Water Council to better understand watershed processes and evaluate the effectiveness of future management practices. Administration staff members provide comments on new permits, rulemakings, plans and studies; and participate in professional organizations that support clean water and water quality.
Environmental Services regulates nondomestic waste discharged into the sanitary sewer system from industrial dischargers, commercial establishments, and hauled waste sources. These regulations are to protect public health, worker health and safety, municipal infrastructure, water quality, and biosolids. The group implements the industrial pretreatment program mandated by the federal Clean Water Act, including permitting and inspecting significant industrial discharges, using tools such as the recently revised Nondomestic Wastewater Ordinance 42 and the Industrial Pretreatment Program Implementation Manual, which has hauled waste regulations and local limits. The group also leads pollution prevention activities for CWS.
Environmental Services provides customer service support, outreach, and education to resolve water quality questions and complaints. It also coordinates and provides responses for CWS’ illicit discharge response program. The program acts as DEQ’s agent for the 1200-Z NPDES industrial stormwater permitting and compliance program and implements the commercial and industrial stormwater programs.
Laboratory Services conducts environmental sampling and analysis for CWS and provides fundamental data for critical decision-making in areas such as health of the watershed, performance of the water resource recovery facilities, and compliance with environmental regulations. Lab specialists and technicians perform over 200,000 water quality analyses per year and conduct extensive sampling, continuous monitoring, and numerous field measurements. This work supports activities across CWS including cleaning wastewater, source control, conveyance, stormwater, and Tualatin Watershed management. Lab staff routinely analyze samples for nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, and potassium; for E. coli bacteria; and for dozens of metals at trace levels including copper, lead, silver, cadmium, and zinc. Staff members are capable of measuring mercury at extremely low levels: 0.2 parts per trillion. Laboratory staff develop, implement, and validate new processes including a bioavailable aluminum method in collaboration with DEQ, a method to measure disinfection by-products at low levels to support development of a regulatory strategy, and an alternative method for total kjeldahl nitrogen. These innovations help improve quality control, reduce mercury waste, and improve turnaround times.