Environmental Cleanup

Funding solid waste removal, cleanup, and remediation of hazardous substance releases at solid waste disposal sites throughout Oregon.

About the Solid Waste Orphan Site Account

DEQ administers the Solid Waste Orphan Site Account (SWOSA), which provides funding for the investigation and cleanup of solid waste disposal facilities (e.g., landfills and illegal dumpsites) contaminated with, or at risk of being contaminated by hazardous substances. Funding for SWOSA comes from a $0.13 per ton tipping fee for solid waste generated in Oregon.

Program Developments

DEQ is expanding its efforts to clean old landfills and dumpsites using funds from the Solid Waste Orphan Site Account. This fund has traditionally been used at significant sites, such as landfills, to pay for investigation and cleanup. Beginning in 2019, DEQ began a pilot project to use a small portion of the funds to clean smaller sites, such as illegal dumpsites, that meet the specified funding criteria (OAR 340-122-0510 through 0590).

Solid Waste Orphans

Solid waste orphan sites tend to linger and are often very challenging to clean up. It is difficult for local governments, who often inherit sites from tax foreclosure, to fund cleanups adequately. If DEQ does not address these sites, they threaten human health and the environment by contaminating soil and groundwater and becoming vectors for disease. They can become a burden to the community because they are a health risk, an eyesore, and could potentially lower property values. Finally, the existence of these sites can encourage more dumping in the area, which can create more widespread issues of contamination, thus furthering the cycle. In response, DEQ has piloted cleanups of solid waste orphan sites and, with these successes, are continuing to invest in communities around the state.

Does My Site Qualify for Funding?

To qualify for this funding your site must:

  • Be contaminated with, or at risk of being contaminated by hazardous substances; AND
  • Have a history of receiving domestic solid waste; AND
  • Be either owned and operated by a local government unit; OR
  • Be privately owned or operated with a responsible party that is unknown, unwilling, or unable to undertake removal or remedial action.

Apply for Funding

Contact SWOSA

For answers to any additional questions or assistance in applying for funding, please contact Oregon’s SWOSA project manager:

James Heintz

503-229-5860
700 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 600
Portland, OR 97232