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About Us
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is a regulatory agency whose job is to protect the quality of Oregon's environment.
Vision
DEQ’s vision is to work cooperatively with all Oregonians for a healthy, sustainable environment.
 
DEQ promotes the following cultural values: 
  • environmental results
  • public service
  • partnerships
  • excellence and integrity
  • teamwork
  • employee growth 
  • diversity
  • health, safety and wellness
  • economic growth through quality environment.
 
See Strategic Directions.
Mission Statement
DEQ's mission is to be a leader in restoring, maintaining and enhancing the quality of Oregon's air, land and water.
Organization
Annual Performance Measures

Administrative Profiles
 
DEQ Snapshot Overview PDF
 
Organizational Chart
 
DEQ is responsible for protecting and enhancing Oregon's water and air quality, for cleaning up spills and releases of hazardous materials, and for managing the proper disposal of hazardous and solid wastes.
 
DEQ staff use a combination of technical assistance, inspections and permitting to help public and private facilities and citizens understand and comply with state and federal environmental regulations.
 
The DEQ staff consists of scientists, engineers, technicians, administrators, and environmental specialists.  The agency's headquarters are in Portland with regional administrative offices in Bend, Eugene, and Portland; and field offices in Coos Bay, Grants Pass, Hermiston, Medford, Pendleton, Roseburg, Salem, and The Dalles.  DEQ operates a modern pollution-control laboratory in Portland. 
 
Responsibilities
In addition to local programs, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) delegates authority to DEQ to operate federal environmental programs within the state such as the Federal Clean Air, Clean Water, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Acts.  See DEQ/EPA Performance Partnership Agreement.
 
The DEQ director has the authority to issue civil penalties (fines) for violation of pollution laws and standards. The DEQ relies on several advisory committees of citizens and government officials to help guide its decision-making.
 

History
Oregon's history of environmental regulation dates back to 1938, when the Oregon State Sanitary Authority was formed. As a division within the State Board of Health, the Authority was formed in response to outraged citizens who overwhelmingly supported an initiative petition known as the "Water Purification and Prevention of Pollution Bill". The bill declared a state policy to preserve Oregon waters from pollution. In 1969, the Authority changed its name to the Department of Environmental Quality and established itself as an independent state agency. There have been nine directors since DEQ was established.
Programs
For information about DEQ's programs see Projects and Programs.