Equivalence testing and corresponding confidence interval estimates are used to provide more enlightened statistical statements about parameter estimates by relating them to intervals of effect sizes deemed to be of scientific or practical importance rather than just to an effect size of zero. Equivalence tests and confidence interval estimates are based on a null hypothesis that a parameter estimate is either outside (inequivalence hypothesis) or inside (equivalence hypothesis) an equivalence region, depending on the question of interest and assignment of risk. The former approach, often referred to as bioequivalence testing, is often used in regulatory settings because it reverses the burden of proof compared to a standard test of significance, following a precautionary principle for environmental protection. Unfortunately, many applications of equivalence testing focus on establishing average equivalence by estimating differences in means of distributions that do not have homogeneous variances. I discuss how to compare equivalence across quantiles of distributions using confidence intervals on quantile regression estimates that detect differences in heterogeneous distributions missed by focusing on means. I used one-tailed confidence intervals based on inequivalence hypotheses in a two-group treatment-control design for estimating bioequivalence of arsenic concentrations in soils at an old ammunition testing site and bioequivalence of vegetation biomass at a reclaimed mining site. Two-tailed confidence intervals based both on inequivalence and equivalence hypotheses were used to examine quantile equivalence for negligible trends over time for a continuous exponential model of amphibian abundance. ?? 2011 by the Ecological Society of America.