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Toxics Cleanup Program

Custom Plywood Site - Anacortes, Skagit County, Washington

Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA)

Current Revenue Issues

The Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA), Washington’s cleanup law, is the engine that powers environmental work in the state. That work improves our state’s environment, economy and quality of life.

Money for cleanup, prevention and other important environmental work comes from hazardous substance tax collections – mostly from petroleum products, which are in a prolonged period of volatile pricing.  Based on the November 2016 forecast, MTCA funds are projected to have a significant shortfall in the 2017-19 Biennium.

Governor Inslee’s 2017-19 budgets propose several actions to manage revenue decreases in the three MTCA accounts and provide moderate new investments in toxic sites cleanup, solid waste management, and operating programs.

Ecology continues to take cost-saving actions authorized in the enacted 2015-17 capital budget and the supplemental budget, including delaying some cleanup projects, hirings and other work. The agency is working with a variety of stakeholders whose projects are impacted by the continuing revenue shortfall. 

About MTCA

In 1988, voters passed a citizens’ initiative that triggered the creation of the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA). This act also established a tax on hazardous chemicals such as petroleum products, pesticides, and other chemicals.

The revenues generated by this tax were historically deposited into two accounts – the State Toxics Control Account and the Local Toxics Control Account. Since MTCA was amended in 2013, this same tax revenue has also supported the Environmental Legacy Stewardship Account (ELSA).

Money in these accounts not only helps fund cleanup of contaminated sites, it also funds state and local government programs that protect the environment and people from threats posed by toxic chemicals. Those programs include controlling sources of toxics, such as polluted stormwater runoff.

This page last updated January 19, 2017