DEQ chief to step down, citing health issues - KPTV - FOX 12

DEQ chief to step down, citing health issues

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Director of the Oregon DEQ Dick Pedersen, speaking at a public meeting on air quality in SE Portland on February 18, 2016. (KPTV) Director of the Oregon DEQ Dick Pedersen, speaking at a public meeting on air quality in SE Portland on February 18, 2016. (KPTV)
SALEM, OR (KPTV) -

The head of Oregon Departmental of Environmental Quality is stepping down by the middle of the month, according to a release from the governor’s office Tuesday.

Governor Kate Brown said the departure of DEQ director Dick Pedersen was due to “immediate health concerns.”

The DEQ has been in the center of the recent controversy about levels of heavy metals in areas surrounding glass manufacturing companies in Portland, where heavy metals like arsenic and chromium have been used in production.

There was no mention of the current investigations in the release from Brown, who said she appreciated Pedersen’s service and leadership.

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

Deputy Director of the DEQ Joni Hammond will serve as the interim director until a permanent replacement is named.

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