Ship dumping ballast water.

Ship dumping ballast water.Photo courtesy of National Invasive Species Information Center.

Ballast water carried by ships into the estuaries where ports are located can have serious environmental impacts. If not carefully handled, it can introduce invasive species and pollutants to the estuary. Many years ago, Oregon Shores played a leading role in advocating for the first state regulations that addressed the ballast water problem.

The Orgon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking to update these regulations. DEQ is asking the Environmental Quality Commission ti approve rule amendments to OAR 340-143 of its administrative rules related to ballast water. This rulemaking proposes to:

  1. Remove the sunset date on DEQ’s ‘exchange+ treatment’ requirement in order to prevent introductions of aquatic invasive species ahead of incoming federal rules that contain the same requirement;
  2. Update the agency’s definition of Pacific Coast Region to align with the definition used by California and federal regulators; and
  3. Correct three minor errors in DEQ’s current ballast water rules.

DEQ is seeking public comment on the proposed rule amendments. More information on this rulemaking, including the draft rules, and on how to submit comments, can be found on the Ballast Water 2023 Rulemaking web page.

How to comment: DEQ will accept comments by email, postal mail or verbally at the public hearing. Anyone can submit comments and questions about this rulemaking.

  • Email: Send comments by email to
  • Postal mail: Oregon DEQ, Attn: Josh Emerson/Ballast Water Program, 700 N.E. Multnomah Street, Suite 600, Portland, Oregon 97232-4100
  • At the public hearing: 3 p.m., Tuesday Sept. 19 (see below)

DEQ will only consider comments on the proposed rule amendments that DEQ receives by 4 p.m., on Sept. 21.

Rulemaking Hearing: DEQ will hold an online public hearing on this subject on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 3 p.m. The public can participate in the hearing by video webinar or audio teleconference by registering at this link: Join via Zoom. See these Instructions for attending the hearing.

You can also obtain more information about this rulemaking by contacting Joshua Emerson, (503) 229-6865,