Economic development with environmental benefit
The Regional Solutions Team at DEQ brings together people and resources to solve local problems. They collaborate. They remove roadblocks. They leverage resources to make the money go further. They work directly with municipalities, businesses and industries to create new jobs and retain old ones.
All of that is true. But what does it really mean?
It means that:
- A creative and complicated land exchanges related to a Superfund site in Klamath Falls is likely to save Oregon taxpayers more than $800,000
- A gold mine in Malheur County can provide $80 million in investment and 150 family-wage jobs years ahead of schedule, thanks to a streamlined permitting process
- Lakeview and Klamath Falls were able to significantly reduce residential wood stove emissions and avoid an EPA designation of Nonattainment by working with local community leadership, civic and economic development organizations, and businesses to use alternative heating on “red days” and conduct multiple wood stove replacement and weatherization projects
- That Oregon’s newest state park offers hands-on learning in an ecological wonderland to high school students seeking both discovery and college credit
That’s what Regional Solutions does. They marry environmental benefit with economic development in ways not attempted - and not even considered - before.
Who should contact the Regional Solutions Team?
Private companies, local government agencies and economic developement agencies, and other organizations may find it useful to contact the Regional Solutions Team if a project or proposal blends economic development with environmental issues. Some of the groups that benefit from Regional Solutions assistance include private companies, economic development organizations, city, county, state and federal agencies, universities and colleges, tribes, non-profit groups, consultants and others.
Goals and participants
Established by the Governor's Office, the Regional Solutions Team strives to:
- Create better communication and working relationships between agencies on tangible, priority economic projects that create jobs or retain existing jobs
- Leverage agency resources to assist communities
- Make permitting and other regulatory processes more understandable and efficient to save funding and time
- Use Oregon’s sustainable community objectives -- Economy, Community, Environment -- as a guide to achieve priority objectives on the ground
- Strengthen the relationships between government and high education, including developing opportunities for college students to gain real-world experience
Seven Regional Solutions Centers are staffed by teams composed of a representative from the Governor’s office and the following five Oregon state agencies. Other agencies are brought in, as needed, for each particular project:
- Environmental Quality
- Land Conservation and Development
- Housing and Community Services
- Business Development