Feeding the hungry, not landfills: DEQ grants $140,000 to Oregon Food Bank to fight hunger and food waste

Jason D. Smith with Oregon Food Bank, unloads produce in July at the Baltazar Ortiz Family Center in Porltand [Photo courtesy of Oregon Food Bank]

Serving more than 860,000 people each year prior to COVID-19, Oregon Food Bank’s network of 1,400 pantries and meal sites are driven by donations of fresh produce, protein, dairy and other pantry staples. In preparing this food for distribution, volunteers devote thousands of hours to sorting and packaging bulk donations from across the Northwest.

Continue reading “Feeding the hungry, not landfills: DEQ grants $140,000 to Oregon Food Bank to fight hunger and food waste”

Summer at the Oregon DEQ: Learning, Planning, and Spreading the Word

A sailboat with fouled hull

My name is Chris Schmokel, and I am an environmental chemistry major at Oregon State University and also an Oregon Sea Grant Summer Scholar Fellow. My fellowship placement is with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and this summer I’m working on two projects: starting a pilot program to test for copper concentrations in Oregon waters, and creating a short video to share all the good work being done by the Oregon Sea Grant’s Oregon Applied Sustainability Experience internship program.

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EPA plan for Washington and Oregon rivers leaves salmon in hot water

(Reposted with permission from Washington Department of Ecology)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently released their plan to reduce temperatures in the Columbia and Snake rivers. The plan, called a “Total Maximum Daily Load” or TMDL, is like a diet for temperature: it sets reduction targets for each source of temperature pollution — such as dams, businesses, and even climate change. If each of these sources meet its goal, temperatures in the rivers will remain at levels healthy for endangered salmon.

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Franziska Landes recognized for using science to solve societal problems

Franziska Landes, Northwest Region Cleanup staff, received the 2019 Science for Solutions Award from the American Geophysical Union “for significant contributions in the application and use of the Earth and space sciences to solve societal problems.”

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Governor’s 2019 Electric Vehicle Leadership Awards announced

Electric vehicles significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change.

The Oregon Department of Energy announced today that nonprofit Forth and Oregon-based business Platt Auto Group are the recipients of Governor Brown’s 2019 Electric Vehicle Leadership Awards.

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DEQ awards $125,000 to boost 13 repair and reuse businesses and non-profits in Oregon

St. Vincent De Paul of Lane County

“The grant applicants represented a wide range of communities and many grantees provide direct service to historically marginalized populations. With these grants, DEQ can engage more Oregon communities in sustainable materials management practices – which focus on using and reusing resources more productively and sustainably.”

–Marie Diodati, Material Management program grant manager

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality awarded approximately $125,000 total to 13 businesses and non-profits in Oregon’s repair and reuse industry on Friday, July 17. DEQ’s 2020 Workforce Development Repair and Reuse grants provide up to $10,000 to each awardee to support projects that help protect Oregon’s environment, public health and economy.

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DEQ begins work on landmark cleanup project

Contaminated sediment is being removed and put onto a barge to be hauled away. The orange fabric marks the moon pool where sediment curtains drop down to the river bottom to prevent contamination from going outside the removal area.

This week, DEQ began overseeing the cleanup of the last legacy contamination site in Portland’s downtown reach. From the mid-1800s to early 1900s, Portland Gas Manufacturing created the compressed gas that lit the street lamps. Today, the site is occupied by Naito Parkway and Tom McCall Waterfront Park between the Burnside and Steel Bridges.

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DEQ updates interactive map of Oregon’s water quality

DEQ’s ambient monitoring locations used to calculate the OWQI.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has released the 2019 Oregon Water Quality Index. The index, or OWQI, details water quality assessments at 160 ambient monitoring stations across the state.

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Oregon joins 14 states and DC in effort to speed up truck and bus electrification

Oregon has set goals for more sales of zero emission vehicles in the state over coming decades, expanding from electric cars to electric trucks, buses and vans. [Oregon Department of Transportation]

Oregon and 14 other states, as well as the District of Columbia, are committed to working together to advance the market for electric trucks, buses and vans.

“Oregonians have been leading the way in adopting electric cars to lower emissions,” said Gov. Kate Brown. “Electrifying trucks, buses and delivery vehicles is the next logical step in cutting emissions, improving air quality and fighting climate change.”

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Repair, Reuse, Relax – DEQ staff protects the environment one foot of lumber at a time

“It started innocently enough with pressure washing the deck. This seemingly benign activity showed that the deck needed a lot of repair.”

-Rebecca Wells-Albers

My husband and I have been working on a deck rebuild at our house in the evenings and weekends since April (note that we are reluctant but willing Do-It-Yourselfers). We usually get out of town for at least day trips on the weekends, but due to the pandemic, we’ve stayed close to home since March.

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