There are many sources of water, air and land pollution in Oregon.
DEQ needs to know the exact levels of pollution to determine potential
threats to human and environmental health, as well as the sources of
pollution to create strategies to reduce it.
DEQ's Laboratory and Environmental Assessment Division provides the
foundation for restoring, maintaining and enhancing Oregon's
environmental quality. DEQ scientists maintain monitoring networks for
air, water and land, and analyze data to determine sources of pollution,
the impact of pollution on human and environmental health and whether
environmental standards are met.
With the information they gather through special studies, the
biologists, chemists and computer scientists determine how serious
problems are, discover and evaluate trends in water, land and air
quality, and make recommendations to DEQ policy makers.
In 2008, DEQ's laboratory moved into a new 86,000-square-foot
state-of-the-art facility in Hillsboro shared with Oregon’s Public
The new state-of-the-art laboratory in Hillsboro performs thousands
of tests on air, water and fish samples, including tests for toxics such
as mercury, pesticides and flame retardants. Laboratory staff:
- monitor 52,000 miles of streams and rivers, 19 coastal beaches
and a number of lakes
- collect over 20,000 samples annually
- perform some 300,000 analyses annually
The 85 staff members who work at DEQ's laboratory perform their work
with passion and an eye toward the future.
Perhaps DEQ Lab Manager Greg Pettit put it best when he said, "Our
staff really believe in the mission, and it's that enthusiasm for the
work they do that allows them to do great things."
Oregon DEQ laboratory staff and volunteers monitor water
quality from 52,000 miles of streams and rivers, 19 coastal
beaches and a number of lakes.
Laboratory technician Bill Calzaretta analyzes drinking
water samples for fluoride content.