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Toxics Cleanup Program

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Information for Businesses...

Publications and Policies

Frequently Asked Questions - Questions and Answers on the Model Toxics Control Act

Focus Sheet: Model Toxic Control Act Cleanup Regulation: Process for Cleanup of Hazardous Waste Sites

This Focus Sheet explains the Model Toxic Control Act, Chapter 70.105D RCW and WAC 173-340. It provides information on how the law works, what is a hazardous waste site, how sites are cleaned up and several other topics regarding the process for cleanup of hazardous waste sites.

Lists of Contaminated Sites

Ecology publishes a variety of lists of contaminated sites, each tailored for different purposes.  These lists can be found on the following websites:

Cleanup Site Search - A convenient  automated search tool for locating information on the majority of cleanup sites.

Complex Cleanup Sites - This directory lists sites considered complicated in both size and complexity, and typically have multiple sub-sites.

Site Lists and Data - A list of lists and reports, e.g. Site Register, Hazardous Sites List, etc.

Environmental Covenants Registry - The Environmental Covenants Registry is a list of sites that have residual contamination remaining on them after the cleanup has been completed.  These sites have environmental covenants or deed restrictions limiting certain uses of the property.  Example covenants would be those prohibiting the drilling of a water supply well on the property or use of the property for residential uses. 

Guidance for Remediation of Petroleum Contaminated Sites

Petroleum is the most commonly encountered contaminant at industrial and commercial properties. This document provides guidance on the characterization and cleanup of petroleum contaminated sites.  It includes a detailed discussion of how to comply with the regulatory requirements in the Model Toxics Control Act Cleanup Regulation and requirements for the cleanup of leaking underground storage tanks.

Brownfields Topics

Brownfields Revitalization

Brownfield sites are abandoned or underused properties where there may be environmental contamination. Redevelopment efforts are often hindered by the liability for the cleanup or the uncertainty of cleanup costs. Brownfield sites that aren’t cleaned up represent lost opportunities for economic development and for other community improvements.

Brownfields Basics for Local Governments

The Department of Ecology brochure is a help for local governments. It summarizes what brownfields is, resources, redevelopment, funding opportunities, and integrated planning grants.

Brownfields Resource Guide

Brownfields are properties that are abandoned or underused because of environmental contamination from past industrial or commercial practices. This resource guide will point you in the right direction to get answers to your questions and help with brownfield projects.

Voluntary Cleanup Program

The Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) is one of several options for cleaning up a hazardous waste site under the state’s cleanup law.  Under this option, you may perform a cleanup independently and request services from the Department of Ecology (Ecology) for a fee, including technical assistance and written opinions.

Underground Storage Tank Topics

Underground Storage Tanks (USTs)

Washington State has a federally-approved state Underground Storage Tank (UST) program.  This means that state law, not federal law, applies to UST systems in this state. Under state law, the Department of Ecology currently regulates more than 9,500 tanks at more than 3,600 facilities, including gas stations, industries, commercial properties, and governmental entities.  Ecology works to ensure these tanks are installed, managed, and monitored in a manner that prevents releases into the environment.  To do so, Ecology conducts compliance inspections at about 800 facilities each year (most facilities have multiple tanks) and provides technical assistance to tank owners.

Delivery Prohibition or “Red Tagging”

In 2007, the Washington State Legislature amended the state Underground Storage Tank (UST) law (Chapter 90.76 RCW) to include requirements of the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005. In August 2012, the Department of Ecology revised the UST rule (Chapter 173-360 WAC) to implement delivery prohibition of regulated substances to facilities that are not in compliance with state and federal UST laws and rules. The delivery prohibition rule is effective October 1, 2012. Ecology will use a red-colored tag to identify each tank that is prohibited from receiving regulated product or having waste oil removed. The red tag will be placed on the fill pipe so that the UST is clearly identified as ineligible and is easily visible to anyone delivering product or withdrawing waste oil.

New UST Secondary Containment Requirement

In 2007, the Washington State Legislature amended the state Underground Storage Tank law (Chapter 90.76 RCW) to include requirements of the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005. In August 2012, the Department of Ecology revised the UST rule (Chapter 173-360 WAC) to include these changes. These new requirements are designed to help prevent or reduce leaks to the environment from UST systems (tanks, pipes, and dispensers). Leaks can and do pollute groundwater, a precious resource which supplies drinking water for 60 percent of Washington residents. The new rules take effect on October 1, 2012.

UST Operator Training

All operators of UST systems must be trained and certified by December 31, 2012. If operators are not certified by this date, the owner and/or operator may be subject to penalties. A record of each operator’s certificate must be kept onsite. If the UST system is found to be out of compliance, the Class A and/or Class B operator may be required to complete the training again.

UST Technical Assistance Program (Replaces 96-061-TCP

Do you own or operate underground storage tanks (USTs) regulated by the Department of Ecology? Would you like to know if your UST system complies with the regulations – without fear of penalty? If your answers are “Yes,” you may benefit from Ecology’s Technical Assistance Program.

Areawide Soil Contamination

In many areas of Washington State the surface soils are contaminated with arsenic and lead due to historic arsenic and lead smelter emissions or use of lead arsenical pesticides in orchards.  Go to this link for more information on areas potentially contaminated, as well as recommended testing procedures.

Paying for Cleanups

There is no question about it -- environmental cleanup work can be very costly.  Below are links to some grant and loan programs intended to help people find resources to get cleanup work done.

Site Cleanup Laws and Rules

Know the difference between statutes and rules and which ones do the Toxics Cleanup Program use that may affect your business.

For more technical information on Contaminated Site Cleanup in Washington State