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.

DEQ expands eligibility for school bus engine grants

Across the state, students are beginning to head back to in-person schooling, and that means more and more school buses are returning to the roads. As such, Oregon DEQ is working to make that transportation cleaner and safer for those children and the environment.

State natural resource agencies report improvements in water quality in parts of Oregon

A new interagency report shows a drop in pesticide levels in a majority of watersheds across Oregon monitored by a coalition of state agencies. The finding is contained in the 2017-19 Biennium Report, which looks at pesticide levels in selected streams in various parts of Oregon. The report is authored by an interagency water qualityContinue reading “State natural resource agencies report improvements in water quality in parts of Oregon”

DEQ’s Jean-Karlo Lemus takes us on brief environmental tour of his homeland in Puerto Rico

My name is Jean-Karlo Lemus, and I’m fairly new to Oregon. I’ve spent time in Pennsylvania and Georgia, but I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. The trek from the Caribbean to the Pacific Northwest has been a… transition to say the least.

EPA’s soot decision is bad for your health

Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the agency’s plan to preserve their weak standards on how much “soot” – or fine particulate matter – can be released into our air. This is a public health failure and the result of ignoring scientific evidence that a stronger standard is needed to prevent more disease and death.

DEQ experts to share environmental knowledge and experience

More than a dozen experts with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality are preparing to participate in 13 of 32 sessions on environmental protection, compliance, new technologies, sustainable business practices and trending policy issues Dec. 8-9 during the Business and Environment Conference sponsored by DEQ, Washington Department of Ecology and the Northwest Environmental Business Council.Continue reading “DEQ experts to share environmental knowledge and experience”