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  • New Groundwater Monitoring Practices Unite DEQ and Farmers
    In what may be the only model of its kind in the country, southern Willamette Valley farmers are working closely with state and federal agencies to monitor innovative farming practices that may improve groundwater quality.
     
    “This is a voluntary effort on the part of area farmers to evaluate agricultural management practices – especially fertilizer and irrigation – and how they impact groundwater,” said Audrey Eldridge, a hydrogeologist with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and the coordinator of the Southern Willamette Valley Groundwater Management Area.
     
    The primary thrust of this unique partnership was the installation and monitoring of lysimeters in 13 active agricultural fields and two privately owned control fields by the Environmental Protection Agency with partial funding provided by the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Fertilizer Grant.  A lysimeter is a device installed below the root level of crops, which then collects water that passes through the root zone.  These water samples are analyzed by DEQ’s Hillsboro laboratory to document the amount of fertilizer that is “leaving” the field, and thus the amount of nitrate that is not consumed by plants. In some cases, the lysimeters measured nitrate levels that are six times the drinking water standard.  While low levels of nitrate may not significantly impact groundwater quality; higher levels (greater than 7.0 mg/L Nitrate) over large fields can critically affect the health of the groundwater system.
     
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DEQ Office Locations, Hours and Closures

As of April 2015, the DEQ’s Western Region office in Salem new address is: 4026 Fairview Industrial Drive, Salem, OR. 97302.
 
As of May 2015, DEQ's Northwest Region Office new address is: 700 NE Multnomah St. (the 700 Lloyd Building), Portland, OR 97232.
 
For notice of inclement weather closures at DEQ and statewide, check the Oregon State Office Closures page.
 
DEQ Northwest Region Office moving to a more energy-efficient building in NE Portland

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Northwest Region office in downtown Portland is relocating to the 700 Lloyd Building at 700 NE Multnomah St. in Portland and will be open for business on Monday, May 18. The phone number, 503-229-5263, will remain the same. The office at the existing location, 2020 SW Fourth Ave., will close on Friday, May 15 at 2 p.m.

DEQ incorporated the following sustainable principles and design into the new office:

  • ·    Daylight controls on light fixtures to help save energy.
    ·    Workplace furniture and finishes aimed to improve indoor environmental quality.
    ·    Reclaimed wood products in conference rooms and the reception area.
    ·    Green janitorial practices and improved chemical management processes to reduce toxins in the workplace and support environmentally friendly cleaning product use.
DEQ’s Headquarters office, also in downtown Portland at 811 SW Sixth Ave., is scheduled to move to the 700 Lloyd Building at the end of 2016. Over the 15-year term of the lease, the consolidation of the two offices will result in approximately $7.6 million in cost savings for Oregon.
 
DEQ In the News Today
 
Last legislative bills to watch
Oregonbusinessreport.com, 6/30/15
 
Science leads foresters to fish-friendly practices
The Register-Guard, Guest Opinion, Eugene, 6/30/15