Protecting Oregon's Environment
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Oregon Department of Environmental Quality


Toxics Reduction

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Air Toxics
Environmental Cleanup
Household Hazardous Waste
Industry Hazardous Waste
  Water Quality Standards

Reducing Toxics in Oregon 

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Protecting Oregonians from the impacts of toxic pollutants is one of DEQ’s top priorities. Thousands of toxic chemicals are in products that individuals and businesses use daily. Old chemicals that may not be used today but are stored in homes, schools and businesses also pose risks. Whether used in their raw form or in products, these chemicals can be released into Oregon's air, water and land as toxic pollutants in a variety of ways. Once in the environment, toxic pollutants can adversely affect the health of people and other living organisms.

DEQ Toxics Reduction Strategy

To address toxic pollutants in Oregon, DEQ has developed a Toxics Reduction Strategy.  The strategy includes 25 actions to reduce and assess toxics in Oregon, including five priority actions identified for short-term (2012-13) implementation. The following documents describe the strategy: (1) A summary of the strategy (2) More detailed descriptions the strategy’s toxics reduction and assessment action. (3) summary of the five priority actions for short-term implementation (2012-13)

DEQ takes an integrated approach to reducing toxic chemicals and pollutants in the environment. This approach is essential because these chemicals can readily transfer from one part of the environment to another (as in the case of mercury, which can be released to the air, deposited on the land, and run off into water bodies).

DEQ's Toxics Reduction Strategy focuses on:
  •  Making the most efficient use of agency resources by focusing on the highest-priority toxic chemicals in a coordinated way.

  •  Implementing actions that reduce toxics at their source whenever feasible.

  • Establishing partnerships with other agencies and organizations to increase effective use of public and private resources.

  • Using environmental outcome statistics to measure the effectiveness of strategy implementation where feasible.

Governor's Exectuive Order: Green Chemistry

In April 2012, Gov. John Kitzhaber signed a “green chemistry” executive order that fosters environmentally friendly purchasing and product design to reduce the amount of toxic chemicals around us. The order directs DEQ to coordinate a statewide toxics reduction strategy and work with other state agencies to build awareness in the business community about the economic, environmental and public health benefits of green chemistry. DEQ is also working with the state Department of Administrative Services to devise new guidelines that will ensure the purchase and use of less-toxic products by state agencies.

Additional Toxics Reduction Strategy Documents

AAdditional information on DEQ’s Toxics Focus List and existing toxics programs are found in the following documents:

Links to DEQ Toxics Reduction and Assessment Programs

Air Toxics

  Geographically Focused Programs
Household   Water Toxics
Industry   Cleanup
Voluntary Partnerships    

What Can You Do?

You can reduce your exposure to toxic pollutants and reduce the toxics you contribute to your environment. Here are some resources to get you started:

Contact Information

For more information about DEQ's agency-wide toxics reduction strategy, contact Kevin Masterson at 503-229-5615.


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Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Headquarters: 700 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97232
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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