Introducing the new and improved Oregon Smoke Blog

For years, the Oregon Smoke Blog has been the go-to resource for anyone wanting to learn the latest and best information on smoke conditions during wildfire season. And now, the blog is even better. In preparation for the upcoming summer months, DEQ has revamped the blog to give it a cleaner design and make itContinue reading “Introducing the new and improved Oregon Smoke Blog”

Include old electronics in your next spring cleaning purge

No matter how hard we work at “spring cleaning.” there’s often one area that’s overlooked – our old, unused electronics. A recent survey found that most of us in Oregon have broken or obsolete TVs, computers, printers or other electronics hiding in plain sight at home. These electronics languish in closets or under sofas, in attics or storage and generally evade our spring cleaning efforts.

Air Quality Awareness Week Q&A with Oregon DEQ’s Air Quality Division Administrator Ali Mirzakhalili

Ali Mirzakhalili has worked as Oregon DEQ’s Air Quality Division administrator since 2018, but he has been involved with environmental issues for much longer. For Air Quality Awareness Week, we thought it was a good time to ask him about what drew him to this work and how he feels about Oregon’s environmental future.

DEQ’s Lab makes science the cornerstone of environmental protection in Oregon

With just 82 employees, the Oregon Laboratory and Environmental Assessment Program, DEQ’s lab, provides the scientific and technical capacity to respond quickly to a broad range of emerging issues and unprecedented events, such as wildfires, that affect public health and the environment.

Food waste reduction work hits major milestone

Curbing the 35% of food that goes uneaten each year will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve water and land resources, and support those facing food insecurity— which has become increasingly critical in the wake of COVID-19.

Water quality team reflects on milestones while charting course ahead

The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission made headlines recently with a landmark decision to grant additional environmental protections to Crater and Waldo lakes, known for their clear, pristine water. The commission’s approval of the Outstanding Resource Water designation was the end result of months of work by DEQ’s Water Quality Program, from thorough research to public outreach.

Staff Spotlight on Sarah Idczak, her mapping skills are helping Oregon

Mention Earth Day, and DEQ’s Sarah Idczak thinks back to her days as an undergrad at Western Washington University.

“The environmental college hosted an Annual Earth Day Festival. There were live bands, great food and lots of dancing. It was a great chance to take a step back from all the environmental problems we were studying and celebrate the victories,” says Idczak. “It allowed us to take a breath and just celebrate this big, beautiful blue marble that we all get to call home.

In her own words: Reflections on being a woman in leadership

I’ve pursued paths that, while they weren’t unheard of for women, women were definitely in the minority. My undergraduate degree is in civil engineering—a time when women made up about 10% of the students in my degree program. That was the highest percentage among the all the engineering fields of study at the time.