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Oregon Legislature authorizes a fee increase for DEQ's asbestos program

A close up image of asbestos mineral fibers
A close up image of asbestos mineral fibers

The Oregon Legislature authorized increased fees for the Department of Environmental Quality’s Asbestos Program, as part of the DEQ’s latest budget. That’s to help fund asbestos detection and removal, and other tasks.

The mineral asbestos was commonly used in housing materials. When improperly handled, hazardous dust can be released that can cause lung cancer and other illnesses.

Hillarie Sales of the DEQ says its asbestos program makes sure that such materials are handled and disposed of safely.

“This fee increase is one way that the DEQ can ensure the asbestos program will continue and that asbestos is being handled properly and being disposed of safely.”

Because more renovations and demolitions are happening across Oregon, it costs more to keep the program running. Fees will increase for licensing contractors, certifying workers and supervisors and other asbestos program activities.

This will be the first fee increase for asbestos certifications, licensing, and training provider accreditation since 1992 according to Oregon.gov, and it's expected to bring in an additional $300,000 beginning this July.

On January 18th, an advisory committee will meet to discuss the specific fiscal impact of the increase.