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Ecology Services

Compliance and Enforcement

Philosophy and Principles

At Ecology, enforcement is not an end, but a means to achieve compliance and environmental protection. Most people and businesses subject to Washington’s environmental laws voluntarily comply. When they don’t, it’s usually because they do not understand what is required, and some education and technical assistance remedies the problem. Unfortunately, a small percentage of people and businesses require a more direct response to achieve compliance. In these cases, a spectrum of enforcement tools, ranging from relatively informal to significant, are available to – and regularly used by – Ecology.

When enforcement actions are required we carefully match the significance of the violation to the type of enforcement actions we take. Some of our tools to gain compliance fall between cooperation-based and deterrent-based enforcement such as compliance inspections. Our enforcement actions are based in fact and law, well documented, appropriate to the violation, and issued in a professional, equitable, and effective manner.


More Information


Focus on Enforcement

Enforcement Reports and Other Related Publications

USEPA Compliance and Enforcement (external link)