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Environmental Programs

The Oregon Department of Transportation's Maintenance and Operations Branch Environmental Programs provides statewide environmental support to ODOT Maintenance Districts. 

Their support, along with support from the other geo-environmental teams in the agency, is critical to ensuring statewide guidance on maintenance programs and ensuring practices meet state and federal laws and regulations intended to protect natural and cultural resources.

The Maintenance and Operations Branch Environmental Section includes the following staff and programs.

  • 2 water quality technicians.
  • 2 foresters.
  • A vegetation management coordinator.
  • A winter maintenance deicer coordinator.

Services provided to each of the 14 ODOT districts statewide include

  • Work with the Department of Environmental Quality 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 Department of Environmental Quality6 permits.
  • Leadership of a statewide team that evaluates and updates the Maintenance Environmental Management System.
  • Leadership of a statewide team that evaluates and updates the Routine Road Maintenance Habitat and Water Quality Guide​, Best Management Practices (ODOT Blue Book).
  • Coordination of ODOT’s Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure 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

EMS, SPCC, Maintenance Yards
Phone: 503-731-8493
Fax: 503-731-8531

Stormwater, Waste Management
Phone: 503-986-7220
Fax: 503-986-3055

Additional Program Information

The Clean Water Act requires owners and operators of municipal public storm sewer systems to possess National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits. These permits direct owners of storm systems to reduce or eliminate stormwater pollutants to the maximum extent possible and protect the nation’s streams and waterways.

ODOT holds a single National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System MS4 permit issued and regulated by Department of Environmental Quality that covers the operation of all ODOT storm drain systems statewide. Underground Injection Control systems dispose of storm and waste water by distributing it underground. These are installed at ODOT maintenance yards and on ODOT highways where water disposal through storm or sewer systems is impossible.

The Maintenance and Operations Branch manages ODOT Underground Injection Control systems in areas where risks to groundwater are high and are working with the Department of Environmental Quality to permit all these systems.

The Total Maximum Daily Load program was established under the Clean Water Act and is regulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Environmental Quality. The Department of Environmental Quality establishes pollutant limits for all Oregon watersheds to restore and protect the health and function of state rivers and waterways.

ODOT has implemented the Guide “Routine Road Maintenance: Water Quality and Habitat Guide Best Management Practices” 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 provisions of the Endangered Species Act.

The Maintenance Yard EMS program (link above) translates regulatory requirements and agency expectations into 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.

If there is reasonable expectation that a catastrophic spill could reach water, the federal Oil Pollution Prevention Act requires Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure plans for facilities that have aboveground storage of more than 1,320 gallons of oil or fuel.​​

​Services provided to each of 14 ODOT Districts statewide include

  • 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 the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Region technical staff for environmental clearance.
  • Coordinate with Department of Forestry on tree removal projects and obtaining reforestation waivers.

Contact Information

Districts 4, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14
Office: 541-388-6109
Cell: 503-508-1346
Fax: 541-388-6470

Districts 1, 2B, 2C, 3, 5, 9, 11
Cell: 503-580-2045
Fax: 503-986-3055

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 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 Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife 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 Average Daily Traffic, 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.​​

Services provided to each of 14 ODOT districts statewide include

  • 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​ member for technical guidance.
  • Quality control sampling and testing program to meet PNS deicer specifications.

Contact Information

Phone: 503-986-4484
Fax: 503-986-3055

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.

Integrated Vegetation Management Services provided to each of 14 ODOT Districts statewide include

  • 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

Phone: 503-508-3549
Fax: 503-986-3055

Additional Program Information

Integrated Pest Management is an effect and environmentally-friendly approach to pest management that relies on several good practices. It uses knowledge of the life cycles of pests and of their interaction with the environment with available pest control methods to economically manage pest damage with the least possible hazard to people, property and the environment. When the “pest” is vegetation, ODOT similarly uses Integrated Vegetation Management.

ODOT manages road sides in a safe and sustainable manner by using a combination of 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 Environmental Protection Agency 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

Pollinator Brochure

Beyond the Pavement Brochure​​

Environmental Management System

The Environmental Management System is a statewide environmental program that provides guidance and direction to Oregon Department of Transportation maintenance employees.

It translates regulations and requirements into a list of best practices for the storage, handling and disposal of materials found at ODOT maintenance facilities.

This system was developed by representatives from ODOT and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

Environmental Management System Manual

Contact the Environmental Program Team

455 Airport Road SE, Building K
Salem, Oregon 97301
Phone: 503-986-7915

Program Contact