Features Archive 2009

The home page on Ecology’s external website periodically features a more in-depth look at the work we do on behalf of Washington’s citizens. The following is a collection of these features.

This is the work we are doing at Ecology every day. It’s not easy, and we’re not perfect, but the citizens of Washington should know that a committed and talented group of public servants are working hard on everyone’s behalf to secure a quality of life we can all be proud of.
Ted Sturdevant, Ecology director (2009-2013)

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Climate Change in Washington

posted: December 29, 2009
program: Climate Change

Combat climate change and move toward a clean-energy economy

Gov. Chris Gregoire, following her trip to the United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen, announced follow up steps to help the state continue to combat climate change and move toward a clean-energy economy.

She announced nearly $5 million in Recovery Act grants to help businesses, non-profit groups and government agencies pay for energy efficiency retrofits in residential, commercial, non-profit, and low-income housing facilities. The Department of Commerce will distribute the funding. With the funding, grant recipients will team with banks and other financial institutions, putting them on solid financial footing for an expected $50 million in loans to support energy efficiency projects. The loans will be paid back through energy savings — so homeowners and businesses have no out-of-pocket expense.

For more information, see:
> News release: Gov. Gregoire announces follow up actions after trip to Copenhagen climate summit
> In Washington State
> Shrink Your Carbon Footprint



Federal Climate Change News

posted: December 11, 2009
program: Climate Change

EPA director Lisa Jackson announces finding that greenhouse gases endanger the public health

On December 7, 2009, the Administrator signed two distinct findings regarding greenhouse gases under section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act:

Endangerment Finding: The Administrator finds that the current and projected concentrations of the six key well-mixed greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) — in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.

Cause or Contribute Finding: The Administrator finds that the combined emissions of these well-mixed greenhouse gases from new motor vehicles and new motor vehicle engines contribute to the greenhouse gas pollution which threatens public health and welfare.



Flooding and Bad Weather

Flooding and bad weather

posted: October 23, 2009
program: Shorelines and Environmental Assistance

What Does Ecology Do During A Flood?

Ecology’s Shorelands and Environmental Assistance Program provides two main kinds of assistance during a flood:

Floodplain specialists do inspections by air and by the road to conduct damage assessments. Floodplain experts at Ecology’s headquarters and in its regional offices across Washington work closely with local, state and federal officials to assess flood damage.

Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) is part of the larger AmeriCorps Program and made up of 12-member crews all between 18 and 24 years of age.

For more information, see:
> What Ecology does during a flood
> What you can do



Right to Breathe Clean Air

posted: September 21, 2009
program: Air Quality

Breathe the difference — choose not to burn outdoors

Smoke from outdoor burning can be just as bad for your health as cigarette smoke. Protect yourself, your family, and your neighbors by choosing not to burn.

You can be the difference in keeping our air clean and healthy. You can breathe the difference.

For more information, see:
> Protecting our air quality
> Alternatives to outdoor burning



Hanford Cleanup Settlement Announcement

posted: August 17, 2009
program: Nuclear Waste

Proposed legal settlement will impose a new, enforceable and achievable schedule for tank waste cleanup

With the ongoing construction of the Waste Treatment Plant (WTP) in the background at the Hanford Site, Energy Secretary Steven Chu joined Washington Governor Chris Gregoire, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski, Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, acting U.S. Assistant Attorney General John Cruden and other officials today to announce a proposed legal settlement that will impose a new, enforceable and achievable schedule for tank waste cleanup at the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington State.

For more information, see:
> Hanford cleanup settlement
> News release: Gov. Gregoire’s statement on Hanford cleanup breakthrough
> Focus sheet: Hanford cleanup — proposed settlement agreement at a glance
> U.S. Department of Energy videos



Smart Car Washing

Smart Car Washing

posted: July 13, 2009
program: Water Quality

Don’t feed soap to the storm drain. Wash your car right. Keep your waters clean.

There's no problem with washing your car. It's just how and where you do it. Most soap contains phosphates and other chemicals that harm fish and water quality. If you live in the city and you wash your car in the driveway, the soap, together with the dirt and oil washed from your car, flows into nearby storm drains which run directly into lakes, rivers or marine waters.

For more information, see:
> Washington Waters campaign
> Car washing tips



Secure your load

posted: June 26, 2009
program: Waste 2 Resources

Public service announcement to prevent roadside accidents

From 2004 to 2008, media stories highlighted approximately 20 accidents related to unsecured loads in Washington State. A report by the AAA Foundation estimated that twenty-five thousand accidents a year result from unsecured loads in North America. On average, 400 accidents involving road debris occur each year on Washington state highways.

For more information, see:
> Secure Your Load campaign
> Litter crews



Executive Order on Climate Change

posted: May 20, 2009
program: Climate Change

Washington's Leadership on Climate Change

On May 21, 2009, Gov. Chris Gregoire ordered state actions to reduce climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions, to increase transportation and fuel-conservation options for Washington residents, and protect our state’s water supplies and vulnerable coastal areas.

For more information, see:
> Executive Order on Climate Change
> More on Climate Change Action



Green Building: Jobs of the Future

posted: April 29, 2009
program: Waste 2 Resources

A sustainable building: designed, built, renovated, operated, or reused in an environmentally-sound and resource-efficient manner

The Washington State Department of Ecology views green building as a key player in addressing a number of our states priority environmental issues: mitigating climate change, reducing toxics in our environment, reducing waste (both solid and hazardous), managing storm-water run-off and more. In an effort to describe the opportunities that exist this fast growing market the Construction Center of Excellence and WIRED partnered with Department of Ecology and the Department of General Administration on a film project: Green Building: Jobs of the Future.

For more information, see:
> Video transcript
> More about green building