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Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

1120 SW 5th Avenue, Room 1000, Portland, OR 97204

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Pollution Prevention Business Projects

Pollution Prevention Projects

The Pollution Prevention Projects Section works with industrial and commercial facilities in Portland to control pollution at its source to protect the city sewer system. Pollution Prevention Projects works with businesses of all sizes to identify potential sources of pollution and implement pollution reduction strategies.

Pollution Prevention Projects provides technical assistance on reducing hazardous waste generation, using less toxic product alternatives, spill containment, environmental regulations, and building plan and development review. Pollution Prevention Projects also administers several recognition programs that certify and recognize businesses that adopt pollution prevention strategies as EcoLogical Businesses.

For more information call 503-823-5600 or email

Pollution Prevention Programs and Services

Dental Program

Automotive Program

Landscape Program

Building Plan and Development Review

Extra Strength Sewer Charges

Dental Program

This program reduces pollution from both liquids and solids generated by dental offices, clinics and schools. The focus is the proper collection and disposal of mercury, mercury amalgam, silver and lead (foil), and the proper use of the "red bag" for disposal of bio-medical waste. Mercury waste should never be placed in the "red bag" for disposal. Mercury waste should be collected and recycled. With the adoption of SB 704/HB3611, this now mandatory program certifies that dentists handle their wastes appropriately and have installed an mercury amalgam separator. As of January 1, 2010 all dental facilities within the state are required to have approved mercury amalgam separator. The Oregon Dental Association and the Oregon Board of Dentistry, in cooperation with local governmental agencies, implements the dental program.

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Automotive Eco-Logical Certification Program

This multi-jurisdictional program helps automotive businesses work to reach the highest standards in minimizing their environmental impact. The Automotive Eco-Logical Business Program is broken down into the following evaluation areas:

  • Freon Recycling
  • Hazardous Waste Management
  • Used Oil
  • Wash Water
  • Radiator Repair
  • Air Quality
  • Spill Prevention and Response
  • Product and Waste Storage
  • Cleaning
  • Purchasing and Inventory Management
  • Operations
  • Employee Training and Involvement
  • Utilities

To qualify as an Eco-Logical Business, auto shops must meet all LEGAL and program requirements and 80% of the elective options. Upon certification, shops receive free advertising in local community newspapers, posting on the Eco-Logical Business website, free program information brochures for their customers, a window sticker and a wall certificate. Shops are eligible for re-certification every three years. A list of certified shops is online. Click here for more information about the program.

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Landscape Eco-Logical Certification Program

This program encourages landscape contractors to adopt Best Management Practices to reduce negative impacts on the environment. The City of Portland and the Pollution Prevention Outreach Team, a regional government group, works with local landscape professionals to encourage exemplary environmentally friendly business practices. Landscape professionals are provided with technical assistance on environmental regulations and pollution prevention strategies. Once a business completes the program requirements, they are certified as an Eco-Logical Business. Businesses may be certified in one or more categories including design, installation, maintenance and irrigation. As an incentive to join the program, certified businesses are then recognized through free marketing. The Oregon Landscape Contractors Association and the National Irrigation Association are active participants in the program. Click here to learn more.

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Building Plan and Development Review

The Pollution Prevention Projects Section reviews building and development plans to facilitate industrial, commercial, and site development projects. The review process identifies new and existing development projects subject to Industrial Pretreatment and Industrial Stormwater program regulations, City Code, and implements structural source controls as specified by the Portland's Stormwater Management Manual.

The Pollution Prevention Plan Review Team works closely with outside agencies such as the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (Land and Water Quality programs), Metro Solid Waste, and the Multnomah County Health Department.

The most common reviews are standard commercial permits ranging in size from small businesses to large corporations. Pollution Prevention Plan Review also reviews permits through the Facilities program, Plumbing permits, and Major Projects Program which is facilitated through the devTeam at the Bureau of Development Services (BDS). Major Projects are typically for developments that exceed $1 million. The Major Projects that exceed $40 million can enter the Major Projects Group (MPG) program after making an application and being accepted into that excelerated permit review program.

Reviews also extend into land use applications when related to industrial and commercial uses, stormwater management, industrial or manufacturing processes, pollution prevention, and development on sites that are contaminated, suspect, or adjacent to contaminated sites. Land use reviews usually precede building plan reviews in the form of Pre-Application Conferences and Land Use Proposals.

The Pollution Prevention Plan Review Team is located at the 1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, Oregon 97201 building downtown Portland. The team holds phone office hours Mon-Fri 8am-5pm. The team holds in-person informational or over-the-counter plan review hours according to BDS business hours. Please check the BDS website for current office hours.

For questions about Pollution Prevention Projects Building Plan and Development Reviews, please call us at 503-823-7122.

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Extra Strength Sewer Charge Program

The Extra Strength Sewer Charge (ESSC) Program assesses fees on commercial and industrial sewer users that discharge high strength wastewater to the City sanitary sewer system. ESSC fees are surcharges above base sewer fees for loadings to the sewer in excess of typical domestic sewage. The ESSC recovers the additional treatment costs associated with high strength wastewater that are not covered by base sewer fees. Currently the city bills ESSC fees for biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) in excess of 300 mg/L, and for total suspended solids (TSS) in excess of 350 mg/L.

Extra Strength Sewer Charges are authorized in Chapter 17.36 of the Portland City Code. Click here to check current ESSC rates. Please keep the following in mind as you review these requirements:

  • (1 CCF = one hundred cubic feet = 748 gallons)
  • BOD Rate ($/CCF) = (Avg. BOD – 300 mg/L) x (0.547 $/lb.) x (0.006243 conv. factor)
  • TSS Rate ($/CCF) = (Avg. TSS – 350 mg/L) x (0.696 $/lb.) x (0.006243 conv. factor)

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