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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The Future of Bradford Island

On Oct. 10, 2019, DEQ, Washington State Department of Ecology and the Confederated Tribes of the Yakama Nation submitted a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requesting that EPA place Bradford Island on the National Priorities List, more often known as Superfund. This was shared with DEQ staff broadly and covered by OPB. How did we get to this step and what’s next?

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DEQ opposes rollbacks of Clean Water Act regulations

On Oct. 21, 2019, Gov. Kate Brown sent a letter to the Acting Administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency detailing opposition to proposed changes to section 401 of the Clean Water Act. Section 401 gives the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and tribes the authority to issue water quality certifications for projects that require a permit that may result in a discharge to waters.

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