Dangerous Waste Permits

Owner Responsibility and Ecology Review

When you request a contained-in determination, you must provide the Department of Ecology (Ecology) with statistically adequate analytical data that represents the level of contamination in your media. Ecology makes a contained-in determination only after reviewing your site-specific analytical results. Depending on Ecology’s workload and the complexity of your request, it may require two weeks to review and respond to your request. It is important that you plan your cleanup activities with this timeline in mind.

Please contact the appropriate Ecology Regional Office if you are considering compositing samples for analysis.  Ecology will not accept analytical results from composite samples of media contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). If you composited samples for other contaminants, include the justification for not obtaining discrete samples. Ecology may request additional discrete samples.

Ecology will compare your analytical results to applicable cleanup levels from the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) Cleanup Regulation and Universal Treatment Standards (UTSs) levels for regulated hazardous constituents in your contaminated media. When reviewing your request for a contained-in determination, Ecology considers the mobility and toxicity of contaminants in your media, as well as the potential impacts of your contaminated media on landfill operations. This includes whether:

  • Workers exposed to your contaminated media are safe during handling and disposal.
  • Your contaminated media is compatible with the landfill's liners and leachate collection systems.
  • Your contaminated media affects landfill leachate.
  • Your contaminated media affects the quantity and quality of landfill gas.

Your contaminated media cannot designate as a federal characteristic hazardous waste or Washington state-only criteria dangerous waste. Ecology may require additional information from you before making a final decision on your contained-in request.

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