DEQ must balance its vital obligation to enforce the law and protect the environment with a consideration of the dramatic disruptions to public health and the economy caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. DEQ recognizes that the outbreak may impact some regulated entities' ability to comply with DEQ requirements, including statutes, rules, and permit conditions. Some entities may experience staff shortages, service provider interruptions, or other pandemic-related disruptions. All applicable DEQ requirements remain in effect. However, DEQ will continue to exercise reasonable enforcement discretion within its authority when deciding whether to pursue potential violations caused by pandemic-related disruptions.
DEQ offers the following guidance in an effort to foster a shared understanding of priorities during this time of emergency. This guidance does not serve as authorization of any kind to violate any applicable requirement of law, including statute, rule, permit condition, or other obligation. Documentation:
DEQ requests that regulated entities document the pandemic-related disruptions to their operations. In addition, DEQ requests that regulated entities justify how disruptions to operations have caused or may cause non-compliance. Priorities:
DEQ requests that all regulated entities do everything possible to maintain the safe and environmentally protective operation of their facilities
. Priorities for operation include:
- Fully operate all installed pollution control equipment and treatment measures to reduce pollution;
- Implement best management practices;
- Assure proper facility operation or delivery of service;
- Monitor, test, and report to demonstrate compliance with specific pollutant limits in your permit, license, or certification; including effluent limits, emission limits, and disposal volumes;
- Monitor, test, and report to demonstrate compliance with all other requirements.
If you need assistance from DEQ, please contact your permit writer, or primary DEQ contact for more information.NOTE: Wastewater Testing Laboratories
Wastewater laboratories are not required to be certified in Oregon. However, many of the certified drinking water laboratories may also provide wastewater testing services. The Oregon Health Authority provides a searchable index
of all certified drinking water laboratories within Oregon. This link is provided for informational purposes only. DEQ is not able at this time to keep an up to date list of all operational laboratories and their services. Wastewater facilities may utilize laboratories not contained on this list.EPA Compliance Guidelines