What We Do
The Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) is one of the largest bureaus in the City of Portland. We are responsible for planning, operating, maintaining, and improving all aspects of the city’s wastewater and stormwater systems. We also restore streams and watersheds to protect water quality, public health, and the environment.
Ratepayers fund Environmental Services work with most of our funding coming from monthly combined sewer and stormwater bills. Environmental Services also receives funding from system development charges, connection charges, and various permit fees.
We have completed major improvements in recent decades, such as the Big Pipe Project that protects the Willamette River and Columbia Slough from combined sewer overflows. But we have also re-imagined ourselves, shifting from a traditional sewer utility to a service-oriented bureau that implements innovative, cost-effective, green solutions like trees, green street planters, and restored natural areas to help protect water quality and public health.
Together with Portland residents and businesses, we are adding nature to the City to improve public health, meet our climate challenge, and benefit all Portlanders.
In 2017, we charted a new direction for Environmental Services. Our 10-year strategic plan:
- Will help us work together as a unified organization delivering high-quality services to the community.
- Reinforces our commitment to cost-effective, green infrastructure solutions.
- Includes our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion in how we work together and how we deliver services.
- Puts us on a path to becoming a fully sustainable utility in 10 years to meet the needs of current customers and future generations.
Read more about our plans to protect public health, our community, and our environment in our 10-Year Strategic Plan:
Our Equity Commitment
Our Work Culture
Environmental Services intentionally builds and nurtures a safe and inclusive environment in which employees are able to bring their true selves to work.
We are committed to engaging with our community in an accessible and thoughtful way to deliver services that benefit all Portlanders, especially Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) who have experienced historical inequities. Together with our BIPOC community partners, we commit to working proactively to correct those imbalances and put an end to systemic racism.
Every bureau employee is responsible for advancing equity in our workplace culture and service delivery.
Mission, Vision, Values
Environmental Services manages Portland’s wastewater and stormwater infrastructure to protect public health and the environment.
We are a mission-driven, high-performance organization, leading the City in preserving and restoring the health of Portland’s watersheds.
- Our customers and partners
- Portlanders’ sense of connection to their waterways
- Conscientious stewardship of our watersheds, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, and financial resources
- A diverse, collaborative, healthy, and engaged workforce
- Leadership among our employees and in our City and community
- Equity in our workplace, business practices, and service delivery
- Clear communication and transparency
- Innovative, sustainable, and resilient solutions
24-Hour Emergency Hotlines
Call 503-823-1700 to report sewer problems, including:
- Sewer odors
- Clogged storm drains
- Blocked green street planter inlets
- Emergency street maintenance
- Road hazard issues
You can also report sewer odors online:
Call 503-823-7180 to report hazardous or potential pollution issues, such as:
- Slicks or spills
- Suspicious discharges in waterways
- Dumping of substances into storm drains
It is bureau policy to keep caller identity information confidential.
You can also report pollution issues online:
Dawn Uchiyama, Interim Director
Dawn Uchiyama is the Interim Director of Environmental Services, where she has worked since 2001. Over the course of her 27-year career in public service, Dawn has led and implemented a variety of watershed, stormwater, and green infrastructure efforts with a clear focus on shared ownership in system-wide solutions and transformational change.
Dawn is a licensed landscape architect in Oregon and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois-Chicago and a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Illinois-Urbana. With focus, compassion, and a sense of humor, Dawn aims to work collaboratively and empower others to achieve their highest purpose with integrity and accountability.
In 2020, the American Society of Landscape Architects named Dawn an ASLA Fellow for her exceptional contributions to the landscape architecture profession and society at large. That year she also received her International Coaching Federation coaching certification with an emphasis on emotional intelligence and appreciative inquiry.
In 2021, she received her InnerMBA mindful leadership certification and was awarded the Council of Foreign Relations Hitachi Fellowship in Japan, where she studied mindful leadership and green climate recovery.
Dawn grew up in the Midwest and has lived in Portland for over 30 years with her husband Sadafumi Uchiyama, who is a third-generation Japanese gardener from Kyushu, Japan. They have two children who now live in Tokyo.
Steve Hansen, Interim Deputy Director and Project Management Office (PMO) Manager
Steve Hansen is Environmental Services’ Interim Deputy Director. Steve manages the bureau’s Project Management Office and oversees the Engineering and Operations & Maintenance functions.
In recent years, Steve led the bureau’s development of a new Project Management Office (PMO). The Environmental Services PMO is responsible for development and management of the annual Capital Improvement Program (CIP) with a 5-year budget of $1 billion. As PMO manager, Steve leads a team to improve the lifecycle asset management and construction delivery processes from initial needs identification and service delivery requirement definition through planning, design, construction, and operational handover.
Steve has more than 30 years of experience leading large government organizations in the US and United Kingdom through change programs, transforming the business and improving effectiveness and efficiency. He has extensive and diverse business management and technical experience covering all aspects of program and project management with focus on developing Capital Improvement Programs (CIP) and implementing appropriate Project and Asset Management processes to deliver the work. Steve joined the City of Portland from global engineering firm CH2M Hill, where he spent 21 years managing large projects for organizations including the 2012 London Olympics, UK Ministry of Defence and the US Department of Energy, among others.
Angela Henderson, Interim Deputy Director and Equity Manager
Angela Henderson is Environmental Services’ Interim Deputy Director. In addition to serving as Interim Deputy Director, Angela manages the BES Equity Program, oversees the bureau’s financial planning, customer services, contracting, and administrative functions, and provides strategic leadership and counsel on the development of equitable policies, programs, and practices throughout the organization.
Before serving in this role, Angela administered and oversaw the implementation of the Bureau's regulatory enforcement processes. She has years of experience developing, analyzing, and managing equity-focused jurisdictive programs, policies, and processes in support of the Federal Clean Water Act, City-held environmental regulatory permits, and other environmental regulations under the Bureau's authority that focus on specific risks to the environment, City infrastructure, and public health. Angela has served the Portland community for nearly 30 years in key administrative, organizational, and advisory roles in the formulation of local, state, and national environmental policy and regulations.
Angela is committed to environmental justice with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies, as well as the pursuit of a renewed institutional framework and practice at Environmental Services that gives precedence to racial equity, diversity, and inclusion to ensure equity in our workplace and service delivery.