AGENCY SUMMARY NARRATIVE

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1 AGENCY SUMMARY Mission Statement and Statutory Authority DEQ s mission is to be a leader in restoring, maintaining and enhancing the quality of Oregon s air, water and land. The Department of Environmental Quality administers laws regulating air, water, and land pollution. The agency is authorized by the Environmental Protection Agency to operate Federal environmental programs in the state. This includes the Federal Clean Air, Clean Water, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Acts. DEQ also carries out state programs, including recycling, groundwater protection, air toxics and environmental cleanup activities. DEQ strives to maintain a balance between: Enforcement of environmental regulations Providing technical assistance to help Oregon s citizens and businesses reduce pollution and comply with complex regulations Educating the regulated community and the public about environmental programs. Evaluating environmental results and proposing policies and rules to meet changing needs. The Department also administers financial assistance programs. The largest is the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which provides low-interest loans to communities for wastewater treatment and other clean water projects. DEQ s major statutory authorities in the Oregon Revised Statutes are: Chapter Operator Certification for Sewage Treatment Works Chapter Hazardous Substances Chapter Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems Chapter Solid Waste Control Chapter 459A - Reuse and Recycling 03.doc (1) (8/4/06) _

2 Chapter Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Materials I Chapter Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Materials II Chapter Noise Control Chapter Environmental Quality Generally Chapter 468A - Air Quality Chapter 468B - Water Quality Chapter Illegal Drug Lab Cleanup Federal and state laws are translated into action through Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR's) adopted by the Environmental Quality Commission (EQC or Commission). The adopted rules for the Department are found in OAR Chapter 340, Divisions The EQC is a five-member citizen commission whose members are appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate. The Commissioners serve four-year terms but may be removed by the Governor. Commissioners may be reappointed but may not serve more than two consecutive terms. In addition to adopting rules, the Commission also establishes policy (subject to legislative mandate) and appoints a Department Director (ORS Chapter 468). Agency Plans Six-Year Plan These are the strategic directions and key actions that DEQ is taking over the next several years to prioritize the work of the Agency: Deliver excellence in performance and product [This strategy supports all of DEQ s related Oregon Benchmarks] o Deliver outstanding customer service o Provide a work climate that supports excellence o Address all types of pollution sources when solving environmental problems o Ensure understandable and equitable compliance and enforcement 03.doc (2) (8/4/06) _

3 Protect Oregon s water [This strategy supports OBM 10b, percent of permits issued within the target time period or less; and, 78, percent of monitored stream sites with a. significantly increasing trends in water quality, b. water quality in good to excellent condition, c. decreasing trends in water quality.] o Address multiple environmental impacts on watersheds o Clean up the Willamette River system o Issue timely and environmentally protective permits o Encourage broader reuse of wastewater Protect human health and the environment from toxics [This strategy supports OBM #83, pounds of Oregon municipal solid waste land-filled or incinerated per capita, and #84: percent of identified Oregon hazardous waste sites cleaned up or being cleaned up: a. tank sites, b. other hazardous substances.] o Prepare for and minimize the danger posed by catastrophic release of harmful chemicals o Reduce and prevent toxic releases to air, water and land o Clean up and reduce risks from toxic contaminants already in our environment Involve Oregonians in solving environmental problems [This strategy supports all of DEQ s related Oregon Benchmarks] o Encourage personal actions by Oregonians to protect the environment o Provide Oregonians with better access to electronic information on local environmental conditions and issues o Support communities in solving environmental and economic problems Each strategic direction includes several specific measurements that are used to measure performance. We review our progress periodically and propose modifications as appropriate Two-Year Plan The following initiatives for are representative of the work that will be accomplished in the next two years, in direct support of the key actions above: 1. Deliver excellence in performance and product Deliver outstanding customer service 03.doc (3) (8/4/06) _

4 o Continue to address gaps identified in customer surveys Provide a work climate that supports excellence o Continue to implement the new Employee Performance Management System Address all types of pollution sources when solving environmental problems o Move toward issuing permits by watershed, which will result in improved emphasis on key water quality problems and more holistic watershed based solutions Ensure understandable and equitable compliance and enforcement o Complete the comprehensive review of our enforcement rules 2. Protect Oregon s Water Implement the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Committee on Wastewater Permitting: Move toward issuing permits by watershed, which will result in improved emphasis on key water quality problems and more holistic watershed based solutions Improved accountability including annual permit issuance plans and tracking; annual inspection plans and tracking, and individual performance expectations. DEQ will be instituting new accountability measures in order to track and report on accomplishments. Complete and begin implementing the findings of the Willamette Basin TMDL. These steps include working cooperatively with municipalities and rural land managers to achieve water quality improvements, complete a holistic plan for reducing the amount of mercury in Willamette Basin fish, and ensure compliance with wastewater discharge permits. 3. Protect Human Health and the Environment from Toxics Prepare for and minimize danger from a catastrophic release of harmful chemicals o Oversee the safe destruction of chemical agents at the Umatilla Chemical Depot o Continue our preparedness to respond to catastrophic release of dangerous chemicals including analysis of unknown chemicals associated with credible terrorist threats through our Environmental Laboratory and Emergency Response program Reduce and prevent toxics releases to air, water and land o Continue collaborative work with stakeholders to reduce mercury in the environment o Continue collaborative work with stakeholders to reduce emissions from diesel engines 03.doc (4) (8/4/06) _

5 o Continue collaborative work to establish air toxics benchmarks and reduce air toxics Clean up and reduce risks from toxic contaminants already in our environment o Continue working with EPA and the community on the Portland Harbor cleanup o Focus on returning contaminated properties to productive use as part of Oregon s economic recovery plan 4. Involve Oregonians in solving environmental problems Encourage personal actions by Oregonians to protect the environment o Continue encouraging citizens to take action to protect clean water Provide Oregonians with better access to information on local environmental conditions and issues o Improve public access to regional environmental information on the Internet Support communities in solving environmental and economic problems o Work with businesses and communities to support community-based problem solving Agency Programs DEQ uses rule-making, permitting, monitoring, technical assistance, and education and enforcement to protect and enhance clean water, air and land. DEQ relies on advisory committees of businesses, local governments, and citizens to help guide decisionmaking. Regulatory Streamlining and Customer Service DEQ conducts program reviews when drivers (such as customer dissatisfaction, reduced timeliness, increased program requirements and other events) suggest a need for a comprehensive program assessment. These assessments ask whether we are doing the right work efficiently to deliver on expectations of our customers while fulfilling our regulatory requirements and getting environmental results. These assessments are time consuming and resource intensive, so DEQ has the capacity to start only one new assessment a year. Not all program reviews lead to regulatory streamlining, and some reviews are conducted under the supervision of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Recent examples of program reviews that have led to regulatory streamlining are: Water Quality Septic System Regulatory Streamlining. Proposed rules change, if adopted, will allow for alternative treatment technologies which reduce permitting costs and reporting requirements for qualifying individuals and businesses. 03.doc (5) (8/4/06) _

6 Hazardous Waste Program Review. This assessment led to the creation of the Hazardous Waste Generator Electronic Reporting Project. This new reporting system provides businesses with electronic tools for tracking and reporting hazardous waste, thus reducing business costs associated with reporting. In 2002, as part of our Strategic Direction to Deliver Excellence in Performance and Product, we surveyed DEQ s customers to evaluate our performance and identify opportunities for improving DEQ s program delivery. We hired an independent firm to survey 300 businesses and municipalities who hold Air or Water Quality permits, and 200 septic system customers who applied for permits in Overall, our customers gave us positive service ratings, but identified key areas, particularly in timeliness and how we communicate information, where we could do better. One of the actions that came out of the survey was customer service training for septic system staff. In 2004, we repeated the survey of the same number of permittees and septic system customers to compare our progress in addressing their concerns over the last two years, and the news is good. Here are some highlights from the report: Half of our septic system customers rated DEQ s service as excellent, up from 1/3 in 2002, and customers had very favorable comments about our on-site inspectors. DEQ s septic system employees have had several customer service trainings and have worked hard to improve customer service and communication. These efforts have paid off. In 2002 and in 2004, 60% of air and water permitting customers rated DEQ s service as meeting or exceeding expectations. In 2004, DEQ is conducting an operational analysis of its laboratory. The laboratory analysis will be done by an independent contractor, yet to be named, who will recommend potential efficiencies to incorporate into the laboratory work. A stakeholder group complete a cursory review of the laboratory processes earlier in 2004, and as a result of their findings, DEQ decided a more thorough analysis was warranted. Rule Review DEQ conducts a comprehensive rule review when issues emerge that suggest this type of assessment is warranted. An example of a comprehensive rule review in : Enforcement Rule Revisions. One of DEQ s priority goals is having an effective compliance and enforcement program that is understandable, encourages compliance, is equitable, and appropriately reflects the severity of the 03.doc (6) (8/4/06) _

7 Programs AGENCY SUMMARY NARRATIVE violation. DEQ has been working on a comprehensive assessment of our enforcement rules. Public comment will be sought on these rules and when final, they will be adopted by the Environmental Quality Commission. Our headquarters are in Portland with regional administrative offices in Bend, Eugene, and Portland; and field offices in Coos Bay, Grants Pass, Hermiston, Klamath Falls, Medford, Pendleton, Roseburg, Salem, The Dalles, and on the North Coast. DEQ s environmental laboratory operates on the Portland State University campus. One vehicle inspection technical center and seven vehicle inspection stations are located in the Portland metropolitan area, and one inspection station is located in Medford. DEQ's Laboratory is committed to providing scientifically sound, timely, safe and efficient analytical capabilities for assessing the quality of Oregon's environment and protecting Oregonians. The Laboratory also has an important role in homeland security, responsible for analyzing unknown chemicals associated with credible terrorist threats. DEQ works closely with the Oregon Public Health Laboratory in conducting analyses and interpreting results. Both labs have outgrown contiguous space leased from Portland State University since 1975, and will be relocating to a more modern, updated facility in Hillsboro in To protect and improve Air Quality, we monitor the air quality across Oregon to insure that everyone is breathing air that meets or beats national air quality standards. Under our strategic directions we are focusing efforts on measuring the amount of toxic compounds in the air to understand their health impacts. We develop and implement strategies to reduce and prevent pollution from industrial, commercial, motor vehicle, and household sources. Pollution from motor vehicles, one of the primary sources of air pollution in Oregon, is being reduced by operating a vehicle inspection program in the Portland area and in the Rogue Valley. We regulate some 1,200 sources of industrial air pollution through permits, inspect 1.1 million vehicles, and respond to more than 3,000 air quality complaints during a biennium. The air quality program is funded through a variety of fees, including permit fees and vehicle inspection fees; federal grants, and general funds. To protect and improve Water Quality, DEQ sets and enforces water quality standards and monitors 19 river basins for water quality. We also measure groundwater quality and implement strategies to protect this valuable resource. Oregon law prohibits discharging pollution into Oregon water without a DEQ permit. More than 4500 permits regulate waste discharges from city sewage treatment plants and industrial facilities. We develop strategies to reduce pollution carried by storm water runoff from urban areas, agriculture, forest practices and construction. The program provides loans to local governments for sewage treatment systems and oversees or directly administers septic system permitting and other on-site sewage treatment and disposal systems. 03.doc (7) (8/4/06) _

8 The Land Quality program includes five distinct groups of related activities. We regulate Hazardous Waste disposal from point of origin until final disposal and oversee Oregon's only hazardous waste landfill at Arlington. We emphasize pollution prevention and offer technical assistance to businesses, minimizing the amount of hazardous waste produced. We promote Solid Waste reduction through education and implement a statewide recycling law that requires cities to provide curbside recycling collection and reduce garbage volume going into landfills. Solid waste landfills must have DEQ permits in order to operate. We regulate Underground Storage Tanks, because of the potential for tank contents to leak and seriously pollute groundwater. We enhance Environmental Cleanup by maintaining an inventory of all sites in the state with a confirmed release of hazardous material into the environment. We assess these sites for potential threats to human health and the environment, and, where appropriate, supervise site cleanup. We are the state lead agency for cleanup of oil and hazardous spills. Emergency Management is part of the State of Oregon Emergency Management Plan including homeland security response to chemical and oil emergencies. Efforts focus on prevention and preparedness to minimize the effects of oil and chemical releases, especially to water. Solid Waste is funded entirely by fees. Hazardous Waste is funded from general funds, fees, cost recovery, and federal grants. Underground Storage Tanks is funded from fees, cost recovery, and federal grants. Environmental Cleanup is funded by cost recovery, fees, and federal grants. Emergency Response and oil spill prevention and contingency planning are funded by cost recovery, fees, and federal grants. Cross-Media focuses on the growing need to address environmental issues more broadly than within a single media. It is responsible for specific activities that address a broader spectrum of environmental problems, such as pollution prevention and tax credits. Cross-Media is funded by fees and federal grants and will manage more than 700 tax credit applications in the biennium. Within the Agency Management program, we deliver central services that provide the infrastructure to keep the agency running smoothly and efficiently. The Director s Office provides leadership to the agency in policy formation and guidance, intra-agency and inter-agency coordination, budgeting, and accountability for the entire agency's program efforts. The Management Services Division ensures that DEQ satisfies the legal and administrative requirements relating to human resources, health and safety, accounting, and information and business systems. The Office of Communications and Outreach conducts customer surveys and coordinates customer service training for DEQ staff, provides public information materials, web-based services, responds to questions from the public and news media, and assists the Agency with advisory committees, public hearings and other public meetings. 03.doc (8) (8/4/06) _

9 Environmental Factors AGENCY SUMMARY NARRATIVE The Department of Environmental Quality has been protecting the health of Oregon s citizens and environment since We are proud of our accomplishments, but today we face new challenges to our environment and our economy. Oregon has recently experienced severe budget reductions and high unemployment. Our citizens are demanding accountability and value from government. At the same time, Oregonians want a healthy, safe, and sustainable environment. In 1980, only 30% of Oregonians lived in clean air communities. Today, 100% of Oregonians live where the air meets national health standards. In Oregon, 64% of rivers monitored by DEQ are improving in water quality and only 1% are declining. Since 1991, citizens have safely disposed of more than three million pounds of household hazardous waste through DEQ-sponsored statewide collection events. Delivering excellence is more important than ever if citizens are to believe in government; water has become an even more valuable and precious resource; protecting Oregonians from toxics is even more complex and challenging than we anticipated; and we understand more fully that it will take all of us working together to solve not only our environmental problems but to be sure we have economically healthy and vibrant communities. Criteria for Budget Development The Agency s strategic directions provide a framework for assigning resources to high priority work to the greatest extent possible. This pairing of priorities and resources reveals areas where resources are not adequate to complete high priority work. Six of DEQ s policy packages requesting spending authority and/or funding for are directly tied to our priority of protecting Oregon s water. Six packages support our priority to protect human health and the environment from toxics. Four packages position DEQ to deliver excellence in performance and product to the citizens of Oregon, and involve Oregonians in solving environmental problems. 03.doc (9) (8/4/06) _

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