DEQ Launches Office of Greenhouse Gas Programs

The Office of Greenhouse Gas Programs is leading the Department of Environmental Quality’s effort to reduce Oregon’s contribution to global greenhouse gas pollution. The Office will execute the directions to DEQ in Governor Brown’s executive order to fight climate change, and will begin work immediately to develop and implement programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Plastic Wars – the fight over the future of plastics by FRONTLINE and NPR

As part of a long investigation on plastics and recycling, FRONTLINE and NPR interviewed David Allaway, waste prevention analyst for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality for their series called “Plastic Wars.”

“Science tells us that we need to significantly reduce our use of materials,” says Allaway. But he says our emphasis on recycling distracts us from considering a bigger issue – environmental impacts of increasing consumption.

Check out the story here.

DEQ is working is working closely with local governments, recycling processors and collectors to address ongoing challenges related to recent recycling markets disruptions and work toward solutions to create a more resilient recycling system that protects the environment and strengthens the local economy.

Learn more here.

Recycle Right! campaign now in Spanish

DEQ’s Recycle Right! campaign materials are now available in Spanish on DEQ’s Reciclar Correctamente webpage. This campaign was created in 2019 to help Oregon residents navigate the murky landscape of what to keep out of the recycling bin. DEQ’s Recycle Right website highlights five major recycling contaminants, and offers helpful tips on how to reduce waste and reuse common materials. In addition to the new Reciclar Correctamente webpage, a Spanish messaging toolkit is available on DEQ’s online resource library.

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EPA taking comment on permits for dams along lower Columbia and Snake rivers

Little Goose Dam by U.S. Army Corps for Engineers, 2014

The Environmental Protection Agency is asking the public for comment on draft discharge permits for eight federally regulated dams along the lower Columbia and lower Snake rivers.

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Memories of the New Carissa

  • boat

Swollen seas and strong winds combined to push the New Carissa onto the Oregon Coast near Coos Bay in winter 1999, starting an epic cleanup and removal saga for the large beached boat.

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DEQ enforces the law to protect and restore Oregon’s environment

In 2019, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued 247 enforcement notices – essentially penalties for violating environmental regulations. According to Kieran O’Donnell, Compliance and Enforcement Manager, that is the most DEQ has ever issued in a year. “Penalties are DEQ’s main tool to enforce the law,” Kieran says, “and it generates good environmental results.”

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DEQ responds to underground gasoline tank release in Canyonville

Contractors respond to underground gasoline tank release in Canyonville on Tuesday, March 3, 2020

An underground storage tank at a service station in Canyonville failed recently, releasing an estimated 3,000 gallons of gasoline into the ground. Some of the fuel seeped through the ground and into the creek near the Main Street crossing. The creek is a tributary of the South Umpqua River.

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Staff spotlight on Dana Bailey – Keeping DEQ safe

Dana Bailey

Dana Bailey is all about safety. If you’re not wearing the right gear, she’ll let you know. If you slouch at your desk, she’ll give you tips on ergonomics. As a safety specialist II., working out of DEQ’s Portland headquarters, she writes safety policy, leads safety trainings and conducts hazards assessments. She also serves as a consultant for DEQ’s three safety committees and ensures the agency complies with OR-OSHA rules. This September, Dana will celebrate 13 years at DEQ.

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DEQ’s pursuit of a Superfund site cleanup: Portland Harbor 101

Portland Harbor is a heavily industrialized stretch of the Willamette River, extending from Portland’s Broadway Bridge to Sauvie Island. Due to decades of industrial activity, some of the sediment, or mud, in the river and along the riverbank is contaminated with pollutants, including PCBs, dioxins and other potentially harmful chemicals. Work to clean up Portland Harbor has been going on for decades, so it is a good time to get back to basics and review some of the most important facts about the Portland Harbor Superfund Site:

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