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Groundwater Protection Program

  • To keep groundwater safe, the City regulates businesses that use hazardous chemicals or products. Groundwater protection regulations apply to businesses that transport, store and use hazardous chemicals in specific quantities. *See regulated chemicals.

    Protection area

    Gresham is expanding groundwater protection to include the Cascade well system. Protection area map.

    • Some businesses will  be subject to new regulations under the City’s expanded groundwater protection program.  
    • A phased compliance program will begin this year. 

    About the protection program 

  • Business Requirements

    Businesses using chemicals or hazardous materials over specified amounts must: 

    • Attend a free annual pollution prevention training. 
    • Create and maintain a spill response plan and team.  
    • Submit an annual report and site plan.  
    • Place spill kits, signs and other spill control measures on site. 
    • Use secondary containment for hazardous chemical storage.

    City staff provide free training and on-site technical assistance. Find out more.  

    Best management practices 

    • Select non-toxic or low-toxicity chemical alternatives. 
    • Safely contain toxic products.
    • Train employees how to safely use, transport, store, and clean-up toxic products.
    • Stock supplies for cleaning up spills. 
    • Safely dispose of toxic products. 
    • Keep storage and use areas clean. 


    Regulated Chemicals

    The summary below lists the types of chemicals and quantities of chemicals regulated under the Groundwater Protection Program.  

    • Halogenated solvents: 10 gallons or 100 pounds at ≥10% concentration by weight. 
      • Including industrial cleaners, glues, and degreasers. 
    • Hazardous substances: 50 gallons or 400 pounds at ≥10% concentration by weight. 
    • DEQ hazardous wastes: 30 gallons or 220 pounds, at any concentration.  
    • Petroleum products, except fuels: 50 gallons or 400 pounds at ≥10% concentration by weight, stored in any single container with capacity >50 gallons. 
    • Petroleum-based liquid fuels (gasoline and diesel): 50 gallons or 400 pounds, stored in any single container with capacity >50 gallons.   
    Site Inspections

    City staff inspect businesses periodically to ensure compliance with groundwater protection regulations. The site inspection includes: 

    • A risk assessment, based on chemicals used and the quantities stored.  
    • Storage methods and storage location. 
    • How chemicals are transported on and off site.  
    • Spill risk level and spill areas.  
    Training and Technical Assistance

    City staff provide free training to businesses located in the protected groundwater well field. Training includes:  

    • Learning the potential risks to groundwater from hazardous materials.  
    • Understanding spill response and contacting authorities.
    • Locating and reading the Safety Data Sheet (SDS), formerly Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).
    • Training personnel to handle spill control and response. 
    • Reviewing a Facility Information Report.  
    • Reviewing reports.
    • Reporting and procedures. 
    • Proper spill equipment for your site.
    • Proper secondary containment systems for your site.  
  • Contact us 

    For more information, or to request copies of any of the documents on this page, contact Clay Walker at 503-618-2487 or

    Report a spill

    • Report hazardous spills by calling 911.
    • To report spills of non-hazardous materials call the City’s Operations and Maintenance office: 503-618-2626
    • After hours, call the City’s Public Works on-call notification number: 503-661-3906.
    • Report illegal dumping on private property to Code Compliance at 503-618-2248 or through My Gresham.
    • Report illegal dumping on public rights-of-way to Metro's Regional Illegal Dumping Patrol at 503-234-3000.
    • Report erosion concerns to 503-618-2474.