About the Department of Environmental Protection

The mission of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is to enhance the quality of life in our community by protecting and improving Montgomery County's air, water, and land in a sustainable, innovative, inclusive, and industry-leading way while fostering smart growth, a thriving more sustainable economy and healthy communities.  ​

Adam Ortiz, Director

Adam is Director of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, a $140 million agency with 300 employees and contractors. The Department oversees programs for recycling and resource management, watershed restoration, greenhouse gas reduction, renewable energy, sustainability, and environmental compliance.

Prior to joining Montgomery County, Adam was the Director of the Department of Environment for Prince George’s County, Maryland, from 2012 through 2018 where he oversaw stormwater management, recycling, waste management, animal services, and sustainability programs. He launched several industry-leading initiatives including the largest municipal organics composting facility in the country, a $100 million public-private partnership for green infrastructure focusing on small and local business development, and various partnerships with faith, nonprofit, and business sectors.

Adam served in the administration of Governor Martin O'Malley from 2007 to 2012.  He focused on workforce, higher education, and veterans affairs as Deputy Chief of Staff for Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, and prior to that he worked on workforce and immigration policy, and StateStat, as Special Assistant to Secretary Tom Perez at the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. 

From 2005 to 2011 he served three terms as Mayor of Edmonston, Maryland. In this role he was recognized as a Champion of Change by The White House and received a Bright Idea Award from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government for building the country's first complete green street. 

Earlier in his career he worked as an advocate working on equity and human rights issues, including as a Soros Justice Fellow at the American Bar Association to abolish the death penalty for juveniles which culminated in the landmark 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Roper v. Simmons. Mr. Ortiz was also Deputy Director for Amnesty International’s Midwest Office which worked to abolish the death penalty, stop police brutality, improve prison conditions, improve fairness for asylum, and release prisoners of conscience.

Mr. Ortiz has a B.A. in Public Policy from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland.

Questions about the Department of Environmental Protection?


Annual Report - DEP 2020 Year in Review

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, DEP ramped up our work to make Montgomery County's air, land, and water cleaner and greener now and for future generations.

Watch the DEP 2020 Year in Review on YouTube




Organizational Chart

Org ChartDirector Deputy-Director Intergovernmental Energy-climate-compliance Restoration Recycling Strategic-Services


Responsibilities of DEP's Divisions

Office of the Director


  • Leads the Department to turn the curve towards a greener County

  • Leads initiatives towards zero waste

  • Leads initiatives towards reducing greenhouse gases

  • Leads initiatives towards clean water

  • External and internal communication regarding DEP accomplishments, people, and initiatives

  • Develops strategic initiatives and partnerships leading to improved business opportunities and lower operating costs for DEP

Communications and Public Engagement Section

  • Integration of external messaging and communication about DEP

  • Development of partnerships with community and advocacy groups, faith-based institutions, and the business community

  • Manages DEP branding guidelines

  • Evaluates effectiveness of internal and external communications



Office of the Director

Deputy Director

  • Responsible for overall management of daily operations

  • Ensures positive organizational culture and workplace environment

  • Safe operations and strong safety culture

  • Manages budget, rate setting, and revenue management

  • Integrates procurement and budget for capital and non-capital programs

  • Manages strategic initiatives related to procurement, IT, Human capital, and business process improvements



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Intergovernmental Affairs Division

  • Serve as liaison to County government agencies on issues of importance to DEP

  • Serves as liaison to agencies outside of county government such as MNCPPC, WSSC, DC Water, MCPS on issues of importance to DEP

  • Develop and refines Memorandums of Understanding between DEP/County and government agencies

  • Develops and implements water and wastewater policies through the County’s comprehensive water and sewer plan



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Energy, Climate and Compliance Division

  • Manage programs for Compliance with the County’s environmental laws

  • Manage process to assist building owners with compliance with Energy Benchmarking law

  • Manage Green Business Certification program

  • Provide leadership for County’s actions leading towards zero greenhouse gas emissions

  • Manages residential energy programs to assist county residents with energy efficiency



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Watershed Restoration Division

  • Monitors water quality and assesses condition of streams

  • Inspects an maintains stormwater facilities

  • Coordination of the County’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) Permit

  • Manages Capital Projects program for stormwater management

  • Manages RainScapes program

  • Manages Tree Montgomery program

  • Manages Organic Lawn Care program

  • Manages Pet Waste, Litter Reduction, and Community Grant programs




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Strategic Services Division

  • Manages DEPs performance metrics

  • Manages program assessment activities including business process improvements

  • Manages IT initiatives for DEP

  • Generates the Water Quality Protection Charge revenue and rate

  • Provides IT and management and strategic services to implement capital and non-capital programs



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Recycling and Resource Management Division

  • Manages the County’s operations for collection and processing of recyclable materials for all single-family homes

  • Manages the Transfer Station which receives municipal solid waste from around the county

  • Manages the Resource Recovery Facility which provides for disposal of the county’s municipal solid waste

  • Manages composting operations and production of LeafGro

  • Manages initiatives to improve recycling in the county



Collections Field Staffer Kelly Boyle observes incoming recyclables

Recycling Center

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DEP's Performance and Results

DEP's Performance Plan lists each of DEP's Headline Performance Measures and identifies how well the Department is achieving results through succinct analysis highlighting contributing factors, limiting factors, and ways DEP aims to improve its performance. It also outlines the Department's operational efficiency.

  1. Amount of Pollutant Removed Through the Watershed Restoration Program

  2. Average Number of Days to Resolve Incoming Environmental Complaints

  3. Percent Satisfied with DEP's Response to Environmental Complaints

  4. Average Visits to DEP Websites

  5. Total Solid Waste Generated in the County

  6. Tons of Total Municipal Solid Waste Recycled

  7. Missed Collection (Refuse and Recycling) Complaints per Week

  8. Percent of Businesses in Compliance with Recycling Reporting

  9. Single-Family Solid Waste Charges

  10. Percent of Commercial Buildings in Compliance with Benchmark Laws



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