April is Earth Month, and that’s a special time of year at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. We are the state agency dedicated to protecting the quality of Oregon’s abundant rivers and lakes, its spectacular landscapes and the air we all breathe. Whether we are studying water samples under a microscope, collecting data from one of our air monitors or performing emergency cleanup up after an oil spill, DEQ staff are actively investing in the health of our communities, our state and our planet.
Here are just some of the ways we invest in Earth:
Our Climate Protection Program places a declining cap on greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels in Oregon, with a target of 90 percent reduction by 2050.
DEQ provides millions of dollars in low-cost loans to communities that need help modernizing their wastewater infrastructure to reduce water pollution, under our Clean Water State Revolving Fund.
Cleaner Air Oregon focuses on emissions from industry that may affect public health, requiring companies to provide an inventory of what they emit and using that information to assess potential risk to health.
We’re working with railroads to develop emergency response and continency plans for transporting oil through Oregon on high hazard rail train routes.
Environmental Justice – focusing on underrepresented communities that often bear the brunt of pollution impacts – has become central to DEQ’s mission of environmental protection.
Recycling in Oregon is about to become more understandable, more accessible and more accountable as DEQ modernizes how we ensure proper disposal of materials, such as plastic, paper and metal.
DEQ’s work is based on science. To learn more watch Where the Science Happens, a short video about the fascinating work that goes on in the DEQ Lab.
And all the above is just scratching the surface. Please visit our website for even more information about how DEQ protects and enhances Oregon’s air, land and water.