Protecting Oregon's Environment
Oregon State Seal
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

Environmental Quality Commission

About the EQC

About the Environmental Quality Commission

Commissioners listen to a staff presentation in 2008

The Environmental Quality Commission is a five-member panel of Oregonians appointed by the governor for four-year terms to serve as DEQ’s policy and rulemaking board. In addition to adopting rules, EQC also establishes policies, issues orders, judges appeals of fines or other department actions and appoints the DEQ director.


The commission consists of five members, appointed by the governor, subject to confirmation by the Oregon Senate as provided in ORS 171.562 and 171.565. [ORS 468.010(1)]

The term of appointments is four years, beginning July 1. Terms are typically staggered so that at least one member is subject to appointment each year. In case of a mid-term vacancy, the governor makes an appointment effective for the balance of the unexpired term. A member is eligible for reappointment but may not serve more than two consecutive terms. [ORS 468.010(2)]

Members of the commission are entitled to compensation and expenses as provided in ORS 292.495 [ORS 468.010(3)]

Federal environmental laws effectively prohibit persons with a "conflict of interest" from serving on EQC. In general, a person would have a conflict of interest if 10 percent or more of their gross income for a calendar year (or two previous years) came from a source regulated by DEQ. The percentage is 50 percent if a person is over 60 years of age and the income is received under retirement, pension or similar arrangement.


EQC adopts rules and standards as it considers necessary and proper to carry out statutory direction. [ORS 468.020]

As provided by specific statutes and EQC rules, decisions of the DEQ director may be appealed to the EQC pursuant to the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Ace (ORS Chapter 183) for contested cases. Commission determinations in such cases may be appealed to the Oregon Court of Appeals.

In selected instances, statutes specify that the commission, rather than DEQ, is the administrative decision-maker. In those cases, the commission would take action on a recommendation from DEQ for the specified decision. Examples of these types of actions include the issuance of a license for a hazardous waste site or siting a solid waste landfill for the Portland metropolitan area.

EQC on tour
Meetings sometimes include tours of project sites for staff and commissioners, as seen above in a photo from a 2011 tour of a composting facility in eastern Oregon


The EQC meets approximately every six weeks. A schedule of meetings is maintained on DEQ's Calendar of Public Meetings and Environmental Events.

Meeting agendas are sent to an electronic mailing list two weeks prior to the meeting. Agenda materials are available to the public as part of the posted commission agenda, or in some cases upon request, after materials have been mailed to the EQC.

Meeting agendas routinely include:

  • Approval of meeting minutes
  • Adoption of proposed rules
  • Action items, other than proposed rules
  • Informational items
  • Public forum
  • Commissioner reports
  • Director's dialogue


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For more information about the Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) call 503-229-5301 or email the Assistant to the Commission.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Headquarters: 811 SW Sixth Ave., Portland, OR 97204-1390
Phone: 503-229-5696 or toll free in Oregon 1-800-452-4011
Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service: 1-800-735-2900  FAX: 503-229-6124

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is a regulatory agency authorized to protect Oregon's environment by
the State of Oregon and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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