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PBT

What is a Chemical Action Plan (CAP)?

A CAP is a comprehensive plan to identify, characterize and evaluate all uses and releases of a specific PBT, a group of PBTs or metals of concern. A CAP is a plan, not legislation or a rule. It recommends actions to protect human health and the environment. Some of the recommendations may lead to new legislation or rules. These would go through the normal legislative or rulemaking process.

The PBT Initiative focuses on one toxic substance at a time. Ecology develops each CAP in collaboration with other agencies and experts representing various business, agricultural and advocacy sectors.

What chemicals have CAPs?
CAPs have been finalized for mercury, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), lead, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Future CAPs
The current Multiyear CAP Schedule lays out the planned schedule for future CAPs. It explains how and why Ecology gave priority to the chemicals slated for CAP development. In October 2012, Ecology issued an amendment to the Multiyear Schedule to begin work on a CAP for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

PCBs are a current priority for Ecology in several geographic areas such as the Duwamish River and the Spokane River. Concerns are growing about PCBs as a contaminant in products including inks and dyes. Ecology is also working to develop human health criteria for water quality standards, and PCBs are a key chemical of concern in this process. A PCB CAP will take an inclusive look at the sources of PCBs in Washington and make recommendations to reduce exposures.

The PBT Rule defines a detailed and scientific process to periodically review and update the PBT list and to prioritize the order in which CAPs will be developed for chemicals on the PBT list. Ecology and the Department of Health are investigating which PBTs are most concerning for human health and the environment. This will inform the schedule for future CAPs and updating the PBT list.