Cleaning up mercury spills

Mercury is that strange element that looks like a liquid metal bead. Many adults played with it as children. Mercury was used in a bunch of household items – fluorescent bulbs, LCD screens, old appliances, batteries, thermometers and barometers – that are now at risk of spilling. Lauren and Dylan talk with U.S. Environmental ProtectionContinue reading “Cleaning up mercury spills”

Enforcement

Last month we asked DEQ staff: how do you ensure facilities follow environmental laws? We learned a lot about how complaints get processed, when DEQ goes out to inspect facilities and how that can lead to enforcement and fines. This month, we’re talking about that enforcement process. Lauren and Dylan talk with DEQ enforcement staff,Continue reading “Enforcement”

Complaints and Inspections

People often ask DEQ: how do you ensure facilities follow environmental laws? There are a lot of answers, but key parts are complaints, inspections and enforcement. This is the first of a two-part series that dives into the complaints and inspections process. Lauren talks with the manager of the complaints system, a complaints inspector andContinue reading “Complaints and Inspections”

Get to know your H2O

Of the many things important to people in Oregon, a major one is water. DEQ plays a major role in protecting water quality of lakes, rivers and streams to ensure they can support aquatic plants and animals. Lauren and Dylan talk to DEQ’s Water Quality Administrator about the state of Oregon’s water as well asContinue reading “Get to know your H2O”

Cyanobacteria Harmful Algal Blooms (aka cyanoHABs)

Summer is here and we’ve already experienced some hot days in Oregon, and people seeking out local lakes and rivers to play in. While enjoying all of Oregon’s beautiful waterways, it’s important to watch out for cyanoHABs – large stretches of algae that contain harmful toxins. Lauren and Dylan talk to staff with DEQ andContinue reading “Cyanobacteria Harmful Algal Blooms (aka cyanoHABs)”

Community Smoke Response Plans

Prescribed burning and wildfire can send smoke into communities around Oregon, which may impact public health. So, the Department of Environmental Quality has been working with communities around Oregon to develop community smoke response plans. Lauren and Dylan talk with people from Smokewise Ashland, a local collaborative working group ground in Southern Oregon, which hasContinue reading “Community Smoke Response Plans”

Youth Innovation in Air Quality

It’s Air Quality Awareness Week and National Wildfire Awareness Month, so… we’ve got a really cool episode. We’re talking with Richard Deng, a freshman in high school, who after experiencing a series of smoky summers decided to dedicate his time to making an air quality prediction tool that has now won multiple science fair awards.

Ep. 10 – Environmental Justice

To celebrate Earth Day/Week/Month, Lauren and Dylan are talking about environmental justice and diversity, equity and inclusion – not just in general, but how this conversation is evolving at DEQ specifically. They are joined by three DEQ staff integral to this work: Natalie Nava, DEQ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator Chamille Hartman, Northwest Region WaterContinue reading “Ep. 10 – Environmental Justice”

Episode 8 – It’s Electric! (vehicles)

“Really the bottom line is we want to make sure that low and moderate income households and communities of color all have an opportunity to take advantage of getting a cleaner car for their household or organization.” Rachael Sakata, oregon department of environmenal quality Electric vehicles are everywhere! And it’s no wonder, there are nowContinue reading “Episode 8 – It’s Electric! (vehicles)”