Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image

Environmental Programs


The ODOT Maintenance and Operations Branch (MOB) Environmental Programs provides environmental support to ODOT Maintenance Districts. The MOB Environmental Section has two water quality technicians, two foresters, a vegetation management coordinator, and a winter maintenance deicer coordinator. All positions are responsible for providing statewide support. The MOB Environmental Section support, along with coordinated technical support from the ODOT Geo Environmental Section, is critical to ensuring that statewide guidance on maintenance programs and practices meet the intent of state and federal laws and regulations intended to protect natural and cultural resources.

Back to Top

Clean Water

Services provided to each of 14 ODOT Districts statewide:
  • Work with DEQ to develop, update, modify, and improve ODOT’s statewide permits and management plan to comply with the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act including the NPDES-MS4 permit.
  • Technical assistance on drainage maintenance, water treatment, water quality assessment, material management, and DEQ permits
  • Leadership of a statewide team that evaluates and updates the Maintenance Yard Environmental Management System
  • Leadership of a statewide team that evaluates and updates the Routine Road Management Guide.
  • Coordination of ODOT’s SPCC program.
  • Membership on technical advisory committees; work with regulatory agencies, designers, and environmental staff to increase their understanding of maintenance issues
  • Propose and coordinate experimental water quality research projects
  • Develop and deliver training programs on water quality and material management
  • Develop and implement an illicit discharge investigation program

Contact Information: 
Water Quality Technician - Shawna Secord: EMS, SPCC, Maintenance Yards
Telephone: (503)731-8493    Fax: (503)731-8531
E-mail: shawna.j.secord@odot.state.or.us
Water Quality Technician - Jeff Moore: Stormwater, Waste Management
Telephone: (503)731-8289    Fax: (503)731-8531
E-mail: jeffrey.t.moore@odot.state.or.us
Maintenance Environmental Program Manager - Patti Caswell
Telephone: (503)986-3008    Fax: (503)986-3055
E-mail: patti.caswell@odot.state.or.us

Additional Program Information
The Clean Water Act requires owners and operators of municipal public storm sewer systems to possess NPDES permits. These permits direct owners of storm systems to reduce or eliminate stormwater pollutants to the maximum extent practicable and protect the nation’s streams and waterways. ODOT holds a single NPDES MS4 permit issued and regulated by DEQ that covers the operation of all ODOT storm drain systems statewide.
Underground Injection Control systems (UICs) dispose of stormwater or wastewater by distributing it below the ground surface. ODOT installs UICs (sumps or drywells) at ODOT maintenance yards and on ODOT highways where water disposal through piped storm or municipal sewer systems does not exist or where surface water drainage is not possible. MOB is developing management strategies for ODOT UICs located in areas where risks to groundwater are high and working with DEQ to permit all ODOT UIC systems.
The Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program was established under the Clean Water Act and is regulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and DEQ. DEQ administers the TMDL program in Oregon.  DEQ establishes discharge pollutant limits (or TMDLs) for all Oregon watersheds in an effort to restore and protect the health and function of state rivers and waterways. ODOT has identified sediment as the primary TMDL pollutant associated with ODOT operations and activities. 
ODOT has implemented the Routine Road Maintenance: Water Quality and Habitat Guide Best Management Practices (The Guide) since 1999. The Guide is considered the cornerstone of ODOT’s Office of Maintenance and Operations Environmental Section. ODOT Maintenance crews use the Guide to help minimize impacts to the environment while performing day to day highway maintenance activities and to comply with take provisions described in Limit 10(i) under section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The Maintenance Yard EMS program translates regulatory requirements and agency expectations into straightforward best management practices for the storage, handling, and disposal of materials typically associated with the day-to-day management of the highway system. The program was developed and implemented to support the Governor's executive order on sustainability. The EMS Program is ODOT’s Stormwater Management Plan for the Maintenance Yards.
The federal Oil Pollution Prevention Act requires Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) plans for facilities that have aggregate aboveground storage of more than 1,320 gallons of oil or fuel, if there is a reasonable expectation that a catastrophic spill could reach a waterbody. A description of ODOT’s SPCC program and copies of current plans are posted on ODOT’s website.

Back to Top

Tree Management

Services Provided to each of 14 ODOT Districts statewide
  • Hazard tree identification and documentation based on tree health; arborists certified by the International Society of Arboriculture
  • Timber sale contracts where warranted based on appraised value.
  • Corridor tree plans for known problem areas; coordinate with ODFW and Region technical staff for environmental clearance.
  • Coordinate with Department of Forestry on tree removal projects and obtaining reforestation waivers.
Contact Information:
ODOT Forester - Andrew Smogor, Districts 4, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14
Office phone: (541)388-6109    Cell phone: (503)508-1346    Fax: (541)388-6470
E-mail: andrew.smogor@odot.state.or.us
ODOT Forester - Dan Lepschat, Districts 1, 2B, 2C, 3, 5, 9, 11 
Office phone: (503)986-4488    Cell phone: (503)580-2045    Fax: (503)986-3055
E-mail: daniel.j.lepschat@odot.state.or.us 
Maintenance Environmental Program Manager - Patti Caswell
Office phone: (503)986-3008    Fax: (503)986-3055
E-mail: patti.caswell@odot.state.or.us

Additional Program Information
Two professional Foresters who are also certified arborists provide support to each of 14 ODOT Districts statewide. Hazard trees identified by ODOT Foresters or Districts that present an immediate and substantial risk of damage or injury are promptly felled and may be removed as appropriate.
Corridor tree plans are used when circumstances allow a more planned approach to tree removal. Plans are written by ODOT Foresters based on District needs, and are outlined as a requirement in the Blue Book. Foresters coordinate with ODFW and Region technical specialists to obtain input and environmental clearances as appropriate.
ODOT has evaluated corridors statewide and each District prioritized their sections for hazard tree risk based on ADT, high wind areas, known trouble spots, critical routes, and other considerations. Corridors and priorities can be seen on the Statewide Hazard Tree Corridors map.
In 2010, ORS 366.365 was passed which allows ODOT to access private property to remove a hazard tree in the event the property owner is not readily available. Tree removal must be followed up by notification to the owner as soon as practical.

Back to Top

Vegetation Management

Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM)

Services provided to each of 14 ODOT Districts statewide:
  • Continuing education credit training
    • Annual Statewide IVM meeting each fall in Salem
    • Annual District IVM meetings at each Region
  • Roadside vegetation management technical guidance
  • Maintains statewide herbicide chemical contract
  • Coordinates with Oregon Department of Agriculture and ODOT Districts on the release of bio-controls for weed eradication
  • Technical expert on seed mixes and availability, identification of weeds and vegetation management techniques
  • Provides guidance on meeting applicable laws including those that mandate noxious weed control and the practice of Integrated Pest Management.
  • Liaison to the Oregon Department of Agriculture Plant and Pesticide Division
  • Agency representative to the Oregon Vegetation Management Association, the state Pesticide Analytical Response Center, Integrated Vegetation Management Association, and the steering committee for the cooperative weed management boards to ensure ODOT program goals and objectives are reflected in statewide programs
Contact Information:
Statewide IVM Coordinator - Will Lackey
Telephone: (503)986-3010     Fax: (503)986-3055
E-mail: william.lackey@odot.state.or.us 
Maintenance Environmental Program Manager - Patti Caswell
Telephone: (503)986-3008     Fax: (503)986-3055
E-mail: patti.caswell@odot.state.or.us

Additional Program Information
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective and environmentally-sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property and the environment (US EPA, http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/ipm.htm). Since 1991, ODOT has formally implemented an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program for controlling vegetation along state highways. Because the "pest" is vegetation, the term we use is Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM).
ODOT manages right of way in a safe and sustainable manner by using a combination of mechanical, cultural, biological and chemical methods to control vegetation along roadsides:
  • Mechanical: using equipment such as mowers, chain saws, brushers, etc.
  • Cultural: incorporating native or more appropriate plant material to out-compete unwanted vegetation; using weed-free mulch and straw; project design considerations
  • Biological: using a natural predator to control noxious weed or unwanted vegetation (e.g., weevils on Scotch broom)
  • Chemical: applying EPA-approved chemicals per product label (e.g., aquatics approved for use near water)

For information regarding daily herbicide applications performed by ODOT personnel to highway right of way, call (888) 996-8080

Request for Vegetation Control Permit 
Integrated Vegetation Management Program (additional information about ODOT's IVM Program - 2011) 
ODOT Integrated Vegetation Management Statewide Plan 
Herbicide Reduction Final Report 2016

Back to Top

Winter Maintenance Practices

Services provided to each of 14 ODOT Districts statewide
  • Winter maintenance deicer technical guidance to Districts and Maintenance yards
  • Statewide deicer training classes
  • Maintain the statewide deicer contracts
  • Maintain the deicer testing contract
  • Pacific Northwest Snowfighters (PNS) member for technical guidance
  • Quality control sampling and testing program to meet PNS deicer specifications
Contact Information: 
Statewide Winter Maintenance Program Coordinator - Scott Rattay
Telephone: (503)986-4484    Fax: (503)986-3055
E-mail: scott.j.rattay@odot.state.or.us
Maintenance Environmental Program Manager - Patti Caswell
Telephone: (503)986-3008    Fax: (503)986-3055
E-mail: patti.caswell@odot.state.or.us

Additional Program Information
ODOT winter maintenance practices include plowing, sanding, and applying winter anti-icing liquids. The combination of practices used at each site may vary to accommodate the different climate, traffic, and storm conditions encountered. ODOT's goal is to provide safe roadway, however, it is always up to the motorist to drive according to conditions.

For additional information on winter road maintenance practices go to:

Back to Top