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EQC appoints Leah Feldon as Interim Director of DEQ

Statewide, OR—The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission appointed Leah Feldon to be Interim Director of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality at their meeting Friday, Sept. 23. Feldon, who has been DEQ Deputy Director since 2016, will lead the agency as it continues a nationwide search for a permanent director. Her new role takes effect on Sept. 30. Current Director Richard Whitman submitted a resignation and retirement letter to EQC Chair Kathleen George stating that he had moved his retirement date up from end of the year to Sept. 30, citing personal reasons.

“I have complete confidence in Leah’s ability to lead DEQ as we pursue our search for a permanent director,” said EQC Chair Kathleen George. “She has a wealth of experience and has been a steady and critical partner in setting DEQ’s course since she was named deputy director in 2016.”

Feldon entered public service at DEQ in the Office of Compliance and Enforcement in 2005 and became manager of that office in 2009. She served in several other positions at the agency, including as Special Advisor leading the development of Oregon’s Cleaner Air Oregon program, before being named deputy. She earned her Juris Doctor (JD) degree from Lewis and Clark Law School in 2004 and her Bachelor of Arts from University of Dayton in Ohio. She is a member of the Oregon State Bar and has served on several non-profit boards.

“I am honored and excited to take on this role as we search for a director,” Feldon said. “DEQ is a great agency with a lot of talented people who care deeply about Oregon’s environment. I look forward to carrying on this critically important work.”

Media contact: Harry Esteve, 503-951-3856,

About Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality protects human health and the environment by controlling air and water pollution, reducing the impacts of manufactured products and cleaning up contaminated properties. DEQ engages the public in decision-making and helps communities solve problems in ways that are economically and environmentally sustainable.