History and Overview
Oregon’s Agricultural Water Quality Management Act (Act) was passed in 1993. This legislation is the foundation of the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s (ODA) Agricultural Water Quality Management Program. The Act directed ODA to assist the industry in preventing and controlling pollution from agricultural sources. Working in partnership with Oregon’s 45 local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs), ODA identified 38 watershed-based Agricultural Water Quality Management Areas (Management Areas) throughout the state. ODA Water Quality Specialists work with farmers, ranchers, community leaders, and other stakeholders who serve as Local Advisory Committee (LAC) members for each Management Area. Each LAC identifies local agricultural water quality problems and opportunities for improvement. The 38 resulting Agricultural Water Quality Management Area Plans (Area Plans) address agricultural water quality issues in Oregon. As the LACs helped create the plans, they also helped write Area Rules (regulations) for that Management Area. The regulations ensure that all landowners do their part to prevent and control water pollution. The Program is designed to help anyone engaged in agricultural activities prevent water pollution. Depending on which part of Polk County you live or operate in, Ag. Water Quality Rules are set forth in either the Yamhill Area Plan or the Mid-Willamette Area Plan, copies of each can be found below.