By Cliff Hockley, CPM, CCIM, Principal Broker and Senior Advisor
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is responsible for enforcing the EPA clean air and water regulations and have deputized the DEQ to enforce the rules. The Oregon DEQ underground injection control (UIC) program monitors and registers these systems.
Most commercial or multifamily properties have parking lots, and most of these parking lots may have drywells. This affects real estate investors because if you buy or sell a property, you may need to prove that your drywells are registered. We recently had an environmental engineer call out the registration issue in an environmental Phase One report and the bank that was financing the deal required us to either prove there were no drywells or register the parking lot drains as drywells. As you can imagine that gets complicated.
As of October 1, 2021, DEQ has made it easier to register these dry wells by creating an online system for operators, managers, and environmental consultants to register drywells with the state of Oregon. This system allows easier access to DEQ, but it still may take 45 – 90 days for DEQ to review applications from operators to ensure that the systems are compliant and do not have a detrimental impact on the groundwater and follow federal and state regulations.