Features Archive 2015

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

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Washington Drought 2015

posted: March 13, 2015
program: Water Resources Program

Drought declared in three state regions

On March 13, 2015, Governor Jay Inslee announced drought declarations in three regions of Washington state. The declarations open up funding opportunities for drought relief in those areas of the state experiencing record low snowpack. Ecology is beginning its drought-relief work in the three regions where drought has been declared.

For more information, see:
> Governor declares drought in three state regions
> Washington drought updates
> Twitter updates about #WAdrought
> Water supply information, data and maps

Oil Transport Study

posted: March 2, 2015
program: Spills Program

2014 Marine & Rail Oil Transportation Study

Washington Department of Ecology delivered the final oil transportation study to state legislators outlining key recommendations to improve public safety in response to the rapid increase of oil transportation through Washington. The final Marine and Rail Oil Transportation Study, requested by the 2014 Legislature, provides recommendations to improve the safety of oil transportation throughout the state.

Ecology coordinated with the Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) and the Washington Military Department’s Emergency Management Division (EMD) to research and compile the report.

The recommendations include enhancing emergency response efforts with planning, training, equipment and resources; ensuring oil companies and transporters can pay for a spill; and giving more authority to the state to increase rail inspections.

For more information, see:
> Oil Transport — moving oil through Washington
> 2014 Marine and Rail Oil Transportation Study
> Read the final study report
> Final oil transportation study delivered to Legislature (news release)

Protecting Our Water Supplies

posted: February 13, 2015
program: Water Resources Program

Partnerships secure the future of Lake Tapps and the White River

The White River is benefitting from the largest trust water donation in Washington state history. It’s enough water to fill a football field 130 miles deep! The donation by Cascade Water Alliance was made in conjunction with the CWA’s purchase of Lake Tapps for a municipal water supply and the CWA’s agreement to protect and support flows in the river while keeping Lake Tapps filled for generations to come.

For more information, see:
> People and fish benefit from White River/LakeTapps partnerships (ECOconnect blog)
> White River trust water donation
> Instream flows and water rights

Soil Cleanup Program

posted: January 26, 2015
program: Toxics Cleanup Program

Tacoma Smelter Plume: Yard Sampling and Cleanup Program

Over the past few months, our work crews completed soil cleanup on 53 residential yards in Tacoma and on Vashon-Maury Island in the Yard Sampling and Cleanup Program (Yard Program). This is part of Ecology's ongoing work to clean up arsenic and lead contamination from the former Asarco smelter in Tacoma.

For more information, see:
> What's all the ruckus in north Tacoma and on Vashon Island? (blog)
> Yard Sampling and Cleanup Program
> Dirt Alert - protecting our children from toxic exposure

Water Quality Standards

posted: Jan 7, 2015
program: Water Quality Program

Improving our water quality, reducing toxic pollution

The proposed water quality standards for toxics lay the groundwork to better protect Washington’s people, waters, and economy. The proposed update is tied to toxics-reduction legislation Gov. Inslee is proposing to address toxics that enter the environment from unregulated everyday sources, such as consumer products.

“Together, the rule and toxics reduction proposal will address larger pollution challenges than the federal Clean Water Act can solve,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “If we truly want cleaner water that reduces health risks for our communities, this is the approach we need to take.”

For more information, see:
> Updating the water quality standards
> Reducing toxic threats & what Ecology does
> Rulemaking: Water quality standards for surface waters