Environmental Cleanup

DEQ's Environmental Cleanup Program protects human health and the environment by identifying, investigating, and remediating sites contaminated with hazardous substances. The program's objective is to improve sites to the point where no further cleanup action is necessary - as inexpensively and quickly as possible.

Program components

The Environmental Cleanup Program incorporates several sub-programs: Site Assessment, Voluntary Cleanup, Independent Cleanup, Brownfields, Dry Cleaners, Orphans and Site Response. DEQ offers Prospective Purchaser Agreements to address environmental liability concerns associated with property transactions. There is also an Emergency Response Program to oversee short-term cleanups of chemical spills resulting from accidents or natural disasters. For information on these programs, click on the links to the left.
The program also includes investigating and cleaning up petroleum releases from underground storage tanks.

Risk-based approach

Operating under statutes/rules designed to prevent unacceptable exposure risks, the program uses risk-assessment tools to develop site-specific cleanup levels. These levels depend on the nature and extent of contamination, current and reasonably likely future uses of land and water, and related factors.


Registration requirements for geologists and engineers

​Cleanup program improvements

DEQ’s Environmental Cleanup Program is in the midst of several improvements based on an outcome-based management approach and in response to customer feedback.



Environmental Cleanup section:
Phone: 503-229-6258
Toll-free in Oregon: 1-800-452-4011 x6258