What is the future of recycling in Oregon?

Dozens of recycling thought leaders gathered in Salem to hear about ways to modernize Oregon’s recycling system.

Dozens of Oregon recycling representatives gathered in Salem on Jan. 31 to learn about potential options for a future recycling system in Oregon. 

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DEQ is 2nd in state for most public record requests

Kristen Mercer, left, and Leela Yellesetty handle thousands of public records requests every year.

Every hour of every day, on average, DEQ receives a public records request. In 2018, the agency received a total of 4,635 separate requests for data, emails, reports and other documents – making it second only to the Oregon State Police for volume of requests among state agencies.

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DEQ to play a big role in upcoming legislative session

The State Capital Building Adorned With The Oregon Pioneer With
The 2019 legislative session gets underway Feb. 3

The biennial “short session” of the Oregon Legislature opens Monday, Feb. 3, and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality will figure prominently when the gavels come down in the House and Senate.

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Turning water into beer

Washington County’s recycled water can now be used by breweries and distilleries to make beer, whiskey and other adult beverages.

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Video: DEQ Laboratory develops lower-cost SensOR™

In December 2019, the Lab’s Air Quality Monitoring team announced it has developed a new lower-cost device that will allow them to provide timely particulate pollution information at more locations throughout the state. Already, eight of the devices, called the SensOR, have been placed at new Air Quality Index sites in Bend, Brookings, Chiloquin, Coos Bay, Florence, Forest Grove, northeast Portland and Redmond.

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Spill drills and current busters

The ships come and go, but the plan – equipment and people – are always here and prepared to respond.

— Elizabeth Wainwright, MFSA Director

Ships from around the world carry oil into Oregon. In the unlikely event of a spill, DEQ is helping ensure the state is prepared to respond. Recently, I had a chance to witness one such drill and discuss the procedures with DEQ Spill Contingency Planner, Scott Smith.

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DEQ awards $600,000 in grants for reduce, reuse, recycle programs in Oregon

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is awarding nearly $600,000 in grants to 17 organizations around the state to promote reduction, reuse and recycling of consumer materials. These annual grants, provided by DEQ’s Materials Management program, boost projects that benefit Oregon’s environment and share best practices.

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Concrete crusade: DEQ’s initiative to reduce carbon emissions with a different kind of concrete

Businesses and governments looking to reduce their carbon footprint are turning to an unlikely source: concrete. The ubiquitous product—used in roads, bridges, buildings and sidewalks—is responsible for about 8 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

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Collaboration is key as Air Quality permits come online

About a year ago, the seed of an idea began to form: Put air permits and related documents on the DEQ website for the public to search and view. It would address recommendations the Secretary of State made in a recent audit and help keep our promise to Cleaner Air Oregon stakeholders to make air quality permits more easily accessible. It also lined up well with DEQ’s efforts to modernize and streamline the agency’s processes with “Your DEQ Online,” a new data management system. Both increase transparency and efficiency.

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