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DEQ Director steps down citing health concerns

DEQ Deputy Director Joni Hammond will step in as interim director


DEQ - DICK PEDERSONGovernor Kate Brown announced Tuesday that Dick Pedersen, Director of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), is stepping down effective mid-March, citing the need to tend to immediate health concerns.

“Over his many years in state government, Dick has provided steady and dedicated leadership,” Governor Brown said. “I am grateful for his service to the people of Oregon, and I will miss him as a trusted colleague and friend.”

As agency director, Pedersen is credited with several innovative policy achievements, such as establishing the Oregon Water Quality Trading Program to address water pollution, one of the first such programs in the country. Pedersen was also behind efforts to address concerns of tribal governments over pollution of state waterways and oversaw work to assure that further pollution of Portland Harbor be ended in advance of federal clean-up efforts for the Portland Harbor Superfund Site.

DEQ Deputy Director Joni Hammond will step in as interim director until a permanent successor can be named.