DEQ experts to share environmental knowledge and experience

More than a dozen experts with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality are preparing to participate in 13 of 32 sessions on environmental protection, compliance, new technologies, sustainable business practices and trending policy issues Dec. 8-9 during the Business and Environment Conference sponsored by DEQ, Washington Department of Ecology and the Northwest Environmental Business Council.

DEQ staff will bring a wide range of experience to the table to discuss with panelists and attendees during the virtual conference.

To give our readers a sense of the scope of DEQ’s subject matter expertise we’re sharing a little bit about the issues DEQ’s staff and others will tackle starting with an introduction of DEQ’s Director, Richard Whitman (left).

Director Whitman will join Tony Barber, Director of Oregon Operations for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 10 and Rich Doenges, Southwest Region Director, Washington State Department of Environmental Quality, to kick off the conference during the “Meet the Regulators” session.

Names of Panels and DEQ staff participants

Clean Air Act Permits

Matt Hoffman and Patty Jacobs from DEQ’s Air Quality Division will discuss when an air quality permit is required, how to get it and how to keep it through compliance and other permit elements.

Introduction to Clean Water Act Permits Panel

Jeff Navarro and Geoff Rabinowitz from DEQ’s Water Quality Division will cover the fundamentals of water quality permitting, an overview of the Clean Water Act, the framework and drivers of the National Pollutant Discharge System permit program regulations, the permitting application process, watersheds, and more.

Using Due Diligence Strategically

Cheyenne Chapman from DEQ’s Land Quality Division will moderate a session on environmental liabilities in property transactions which can make or break a deal. She will lead the discussion on how to identify and manage environmental risks and options for quantifying, managing and/or resolving those risks.

RCRA: Dangerous Waste Fundamentals

Brian Allen in DEQ’s Land Quality Division will participate in a session covering the basics of hazardous waste regulation with a focus on the underlying Resource Conservation and Recovery Act statute and Washington/Oregon state regulations. The discussion will cover waste identification, generator status, proper accumulation, labeling, record keeping and compliance.

Navigating the Enforcement Process

Jeff Bachman in DEQ’s Office of Compliance and Enforcement will discuss how an administrative enforcement action works. This panel will present a skit on negotiating a civil penalty assessment and order involving environmental violations.

PFAS: Current & Future State Agency Actions

Kevin Masterson from DEQ’s Land Quality Division will discuss the current state of rulemaking, regulation, environmental assessment and pollution prevention efforts related to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in water supplies, products and more.

Advanced Stormwater: Changes in 1200-Z

Krista Ratliff in DEQ’s Water Quality Division is currently working on a rulemaking to renew the 1200-Z Stormwater Discharge General Permit. This panel will cover the permit renewal process and changes to expect in the renewed permit.

Conversation on Environmental Justice and Social Equity

Ann Farris from DEQ’s Land Quality Division in the Western Region office will talk with panelists and attendees about environmental justice and social equity. She will share how environmental justice and social equity principles have been incorporated into DEQ projects.

Cleaner Air Oregon

Keith Johnson, DEQ Air Quality Division, will participate in a panel on Oregon’s comprehensive air toxics regulatory program, Cleaner Air Oregon, which just celebrated its two year birthday. This panel will spotlight CAO’s implementation to date, and consider where the program will go from here.

What’s Up With the Clean Water Act?

Justin Green, DEQ’s Water Quality Administrator, will discuss the impacts and implications of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the County of Maui, the Environmental Protection Agency’s revised Waters of the United States rule, and EPA’s modifications to the Clean Water Act 401 Certification rules. This will be a round-table discussion on how Washington and Oregon are dealing with these changes.

Oregon’s Cap and Reduce Program: What’s on the GHG Horizon

Colin McConnaha, DEQ’s Office of Greenhouse Gas Programs, will discuss program development, framework, and implications, focusing on what the program is likely to mean for sources in Oregon. In March 2020, Gov. Brown issued an executive order directing DEQ to take actions to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, including implementation of a cap and reduce program to reduce state GHG emissions to 80% of 1990 levels by 2050.

Managing Compliance & Continuity in Challenging Times

Kieran O’Donnell, DEQ’s Office of Compliance and Enforcement Manager, will discuss how these challenging economic times are affecting the stability of the environmental sector. The panel will cover what and how constraints have impacted operations, agency engagement, compliance and enforcement, and strategies for adapting best practices to create continuity and keep moving forward.

Modernizing Oregon’s Recycling System

David Allaway and Sanne Stienstra, in DEQ’s Materials Management Program (Land Quality Division), will talk about the Recycling Steering Committee that convened in response to unprecedented recycling market disruptions that had a profound impact on recycling programs throughout the Pacific Northwest. This presentation will summarize the committee’s process, innovative research conducted for the project, the group’s consensus recommendation, and DEQ’s draft legislative concept for modernizing Oregon’s recycling system.

Your DEQ Online: A New Cloud-Based System for Doing Business with DEQ

Harry Esteve, DEQ’s Communications Manager, will lead a panel comprised of the following DEQ staff:

Justin Green, Water Quality Administrator, Travis Luckey, Chief Information Officer, Angel Gillette, Your DEQ Online Project Manager, Christine Svetkovich, Water Quality Manager and Mitch Frister, Your DEQ Online Project Team Member. This panel of subject matter experts will share insights about DEQ’s move toward a central online hub to streamline the way we accept, process and share information. DEQ’s new Environmental Data Management System, called Your DEQ Online, will provide an easy and intuitive online system for connecting to DEQ. The first phase of the project is scheduled to go live in March 2021.

The Clean Waste State Revolving Fund is one of 33 conference exhibitors.

CWSRF staff will be available to discuss the programs work. CWSRF supports communities by funding projects that improve water quality and environmental outcomes for the State of Oregon. The program is dedicated to working with small communities and on projects that increase financial and environmental sustainability, climate resiliency and water and energy efficiency.

One of the CSWCD loans financed new septic equip­ment which functions well and fits the limitations of this site much better than the failed septic system did.

About the conference:

Business & The Environment focuses on industry-wide issues and is a collaborative endeavor presented by DEQ, Northwest Environmental Business Council) and Washington Department of Ecology. The conference is the region’s largest environmental conference and expo.

About the Northwest Environmental Business Council

NEBC is the regional trade association representing leading service and technology firms who are working to protect, restore, and sustain the natural and built environment.

–Jennifer Flynt, public affairs specialist

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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