Columbia River

Toxics Reduction Action Plan

EPA and the Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group have issued a call to action for governments, nonprofits, industries, and citizens to help reduce toxics in the Columbia River basin.

The Toxics Reduction Action Plan identifies 61 actions to:

  • Increase public understanding and political commitment to toxics reduction in the Basin
  • Increase toxic reduction actions
  • Conduct monitoring to identify sources and then work to reduce toxic contamination
  • Develop a regional, multi-agency research program
  • Develop a data management system that will allow us to share information on toxics in the Basin.

Our success will depend on a commitment to work together. The problems are too large, widespread, and complex to be solved by only one organization or country.

Read all 61 actions


What you can do

Below are some actions you can take to promote education efforts and help reduce toxics chemicals in your part of the watershed:

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  • Join the conversation on Twitter. EPA's Columbia River Coordinator, Mary Lou Soscia, tweets regularly about a wide range of information related to protecting and restoring the Columbia River and its watershed.
    Sign up for EPA's Columbia River Twitter feed Exit
  • Nominate the next Columbia River Hero. Each year the Toxics Reduction Working Group recognizes individuals for their heroic toxics reducton and education efforts by honoring them with the Columbia River Hero Award. Contact Mary Lou Soscia (soscia.marylou@epa.gov) to nominate your local hero.
  • Look for the DfE logo. EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE) program allows safer products to carry the DfE label. This mark allows you to quickly identify and choose products that can help protect the environment and are safer for your familiy. View a list of products that carry the DfE label
  • Don't flush your old or unused pharmaceuticals. Help protect our water by returning your unwanted or expired prescription and over-the-counter drugs to a drug take-back program or other safe method of disposal. How to Dispose of Medicines Properly (PDF) (2 pp, 500K, About PDF)
  • GreenScape your yard. Changing to environmentally friendly landscape practices can help keep fertilizers and other chemicals out of nearby lakes, rivers, and streams. Learn how to GreenScape your yard
  • Adopt your watershed. EPA's Adopt Your Watershed program challenges you to serve your community by taking part in activities to protect and restore your local watershed. Learn how to Adopt Your Watershed