Portland District


Sediment Quality Team

The Sediment Quality Team is Portland District's center of technical expertise for sediment characterization, evaluation and management. The SQ team supports our Navigation, Regulatory and Environmental missions, and ensures that dredging and aquatic habitat restoration projects comply with Clean Water Act and Marine, Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act requirements.

Phone: 503-808-4510

Email us regarding sediment evaluation or dredged material management

Regional and Portland Sediment Evaluation Teams

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The Corps and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency share federal responsibility for the regulation of dredged material within waters of the United States under section 404 of the Clean Water Act, and for the regulation of dredged material in ocean waters under section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act.

The Portland District uses the Sediment Evaluation Framework for the Pacific Northwest to ensure that our civil works projects and the projects permitted by the Regulatory Program comply with these acts. The SEF helps federal and state agencies in Washington, Oregon and Idaho evaluate the suitability of dredged material for unconfined, aquatic placement in inland waters, and disposal in ocean waters. It is periodically revised and updated to incorporate the latest technical and scientific advances, and incorporate changes in regional policy.

An interagency Regional Sediment Evaluation Team prepared the SEF for use throughout the Pacific Northwest. This team is chaired by the Corps’ Northwestern Division and EPA Region 10. The following agencies also participate in the RSET: 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Portland, Seattle and Walla Walla districts
National Marine Fisheries Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Idaho State Department of Environmental Quality
Oregon State Department of Environmental Quality
Washington State Department of Ecology
Washington State Department of Natural Resources

The RSET evaluates the SEF at its annual public meeting and posts the updates at http://www.nwd.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Navigation/RSET.aspx

The Portland Sediment Evaluation Team implements the SEF guidance for the Portland District, ensuring that all Department of the Army-permitted and Corps civil works dredging projects comply with the Clean Water Act and Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act. The PSET evaluates dredging projects in the state of Oregon and for Washington public ports along the Columbia River, from the Pacific Ocean to river mile 309, approximately 20 miles upstream of McNary Lock and Dam.

Members of the PSET are available to answer questions, assist in the development of sediment sampling plans and help troubleshoot during field sampling. Questions can be directed to the PSET Lead. The PSET agencies include the Corps (lead), EPA Region 10 (co-lead), Washington Department of Ecology, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Links to the SEF and related guidance appear below.

Dredging projects in the state of Washington are evaluated by members of the Washington Dredged Material Management Program.

Dredging projects in Northern California are evaluated by the San Francisco District Dredged Material Management Office.

Sediment quality data and reports

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To comply with federal and state sediment testing requirements and support our Navigation and Environmental missions, the Sediment Quality Team samples many of our federal projects. Upon request, we can determine if there are sediment quality data near a planned project and provide applicable technical reports. Questions regarding the availability of sediment quality data can be addressed to either the Ocean Dumping Coordinator or PSET Lead.