DEQ issues emergency order to help Umatilla, Union and Wallowa counties recover from severe flooding

Flooding on I-84. Photo courtesy Oregon State Police.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued an emergency order to help farmers, ranchers, residents and businesses recover after recent floods caused significant damage to an estimated 300 structures in Umatilla, Union and Wallowa counties.

DEQ’s order comes alongside Governor Kate Brown’s state of emergency declaration for the same three counties, which cited ongoing public health and safety risks from buildings damaged by the floods.

The order temporarily suspends several environmental rules and fees to expedite the cleanup of flood debris and ensure ongoing protection of people and the environment.

Specifically, the order:

  • Suspends DEQ fees and rules related to residential asbestos project notifications and accumulation of asbestos waste. The order does not suspend rules related to safe disposal of asbestos waste. Find information about asbestos disposal requirements on DEQ’s Asbestos Information webpage.
  • Suspends DEQ fees associated with repairing septic (onsite) systems damaged by the floods in Union and Wallowa counties. Find more information on what to do with your septic system after a flood here.
  • Suspends DEQ fees associated with establishing temporary solid waste disposal sites. Contact your waste hauler to learn about temporary disposal options in your area.

Options for solid waste disposal:

  • Humbert Landfill, Pendleton Transfer Station and Hermiston Transfer Station. (Note: these sites cannot accept asbestos waste.)
  • Other regional landfills that can accept asbestos waste: Finley Buttes Landfill in Morrow County; Columbia Ridge and Chemical Waste Management of the Northwest landfills in Gilliam County; Walla Walla Landfill.

The temporary order expires June 1, 2020 for the asbestos program and Sept. 1, 2020 for solid waste and septic systems.

View the full emergency order here.

Find more information about safely repairing homes and buildings after the floods.

Hoja informativa: Manejo seguro de los escombros de los edificios dañados por las inundaciones


Published by Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

DEQ’s mission is to be a leader in restoring, maintaining and enhancing the quality of Oregon’s air, land and water.

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