Chapter 173-312 WAC and 173-313 WAC
Coordinated Prevention Grants and Local Solid Waste Enforcement Grant Regulation

Overview

Introduction

These rules pertain to the administration of grants programs that by law award funds only to local government agencies. The Coordinated Prevention Grants rule and Local Solid Waste Enforcement Grant Regulation are important tools to assist local governments in the development and implementation of local waste management programs. All rules require updating after a time in order to keep pace with changes in related laws and rules, and to accommodate shifts in the way business is accomplished. The Coordinated Prevention Grants rule was last been updated in 2002, and the Local Solid Waste Enforcement Grants Rule has not been updated since 1989. It is less common for a rule to be repealed. With this rulemaking we will propose to repeal the Solid Waste Enforcement Grant Regulation, but retain the related grant program. We will eliminate redundant information and fold the essential elements of solid waste enforcement grants into the Coordinated Prevention Grants rule. By itself, that action could be accomplished administratively, but there are a significant number of updates and clarifications needed to improve the value of our grants programs, and some issues that require working with stakeholders to arrive at the best solution. To accomplish this rulemaking, Ecology will be working with an advisory committee comprised of local stakeholders. Below is a more detailed explanation of why we are doing this rulemaking and what we are trying to accomplish, followed by a more detailed list of specific issues we hope to address. Please read on for a fuller understanding. Be sure to view the related pages for the rulemaking timeline, public involvement opportunities, and to view available documents related to this rulemaking.

Why are we doing this rulemaking?

We propose amending Chapter 173-312 WAC for the following reasons:
  • Updating to align grant cycle with fiscal years.
  • Stakeholders have requested clarification and other modifications including updating the name of the grants program.
  • We want more flexibility to be able to focus funding on projects that yield the best return on the investment.
  • We want to recognize the Ecology Administration of Grants and Loans (EAGL) web-based grants management program as the preferred tool for grant application and management.
  • The grants program has evolved. Criteria and limitations described in the current rule no longer reflect the best approach and need to be updated.
We propose repealing Chapter 173-313 WAC because it can easily be combined in Chapter 173-312 WAC. The two rules draw funds from the same source. Both serve local governments. Much of the language in Chapter 173-313 WAC is reflected in Chapter 173-312 WAC. We will have one less rule and a consolidated grant program.

What are we trying to accomplish?

Successful adoption of a rule revision for Chapter 173-312 WAC will achieve the following results:
  • The grant cycle will accurately align with our biennial fiscal cycle.
  • Stakeholders will benefit from clarifying the scope and purpose of the program when seeking support at the local level.
  • We will be able to select better projects and manage those projects more efficiently.
  • Funds will be better allocated, and it will be easier for grant applicants to meet their obligation for matching funds.
  • We will solidify the use of a web-based approach for grants management.
Repealing Chapter 173-313 WAC - Local Solid Waste Enforcement Grant Regulation - will eliminate a chapter of the Washington Administrative Code that will no longer be needed after essential elements are incorporated into the Coordinated Prevention Grants rule. This is a practical step that will give us a more efficient grant program.

Scope of rule development

This rulemaking will amend Chapter 173-312 WAC and repeal Chapter 173-313 WAC. All of Chapter 173-312 WAC will be open for revision. We plan to move the essential portions of Chapter 173-313 WAC into Chapter 173-312 WAC, delete any redundant or unnecessary rule language, and then repeal Chapter 173-313 WAC concurrent with adopting the revised Chapter 173-312 WAC.

With this rule revision we plan to propose the following for Chapter 173-312 WAC:
  • Change the name of the grants program, and revise the purpose statement to more accurately reflect the essential functions of the grant program.
  • Revise, clarify, and add definitions as necessary to support the revised rule.
  • Evaluate the relationship to other regulations section (Section 030) and revise if appropriate.
  • Remove eligibility of funding for separate city solid/hazardous waste management plan development.
  • Revise project eligibility language to clarify eligible activities.
  • Clarify the obligation of counties to notify cities and lead implementation agencies in their jurisdiction of funding opportunities, but eliminate the restriction on funding eligibility in cases where agreement is not reached.
  • Eliminate the prioritization of certain grant eligible activities, and replace it with language authorizing Ecology to establish priorities in its grants guidelines.
  • Identify criteria that may be used to authorize funding.
  • Evaluate and possibly eliminate the ten percent bonus for coordinated applications.
  • Clarify the terms and conditions pertaining to awarding of funds in the offset cycle.
  • Evaluate expanding the kinds of eligible local costs for the purpose of matching funds.
  • Align the grant award cycle (currently specified on a calendar year basis), with the accepted practice of awarding grants on a fiscal year basis.
  • Evaluate and consider revising the eighty/twenty percent allocation of funds between planning and implementation grant funding, and enforcement grant funding, and consider revising the allocation formula for each element.
  • Suggest discretion for Ecology to limit the obligation of grant recipients to set aside funding for the next cycle when the full scope of work in the current cycle is not accomplished.
  • Recognize the use of an agency standard web-based system for applications and reporting as the primary mechanism for awarding and managing grants.
For Chapter 173-313 WAC, we intend to remove redundant and obsolete language and merge the remaining, relevant language to Chapter 173-312 WAC. We then propose to eliminate Chapter 173-313 WAC.

Process of development

Ecology will update our web pages to provide information about this rulemaking. We will notify interested parties through the agency email listserv (WAC Track), by e-mailing contacts identified in our grants-related database and those identified by grants staff, and we will publish notice in the Washington State Register as we move through the process. During rule development we will be working with an advisory committee comprised of local stakeholders.

ADDITIONAL RULE INFORMATION

CONTACT

Peter Lyon
360-407-6381
peter.lyon@ecy.wa.gov

STAY INFORMED

Contact Peter Lyon to be added to our list of Interested Parties.