The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality uses a wide variety of tools to help ensure that businesses and individuals comply with state and federal environmental laws. These tools include technical assistance, compliance inspections, investigation of complaints, warning letters, assessment of civil penalties and compliance orders.
When DEQ issues civil penalties violators may pay the penalty amount, request a hearing, or fund a supplemental environmental project
in combination with a penalty payment. DEQ encourages violators to consider supplemental environmental projects, which provide Oregon with direct environmental benefits. These projects cover a wide range of environmental improvements, including habitat restoration, household hazardous waste collection events, or funding to help school districts retrofit older school buses to use clean-diesel technology.
Pictured above, this new culvert on Rowdy Creek in the Siuslaw National Forest is the result of a $72,000 supplemental environmental project paid for by a party that violated its stormwater discharge permit during a highway construction project near the Oregon Coast. The culvert helps restore the creek to its original channel, improving upstream access for fish and other aquatic life.