Terrestrial Ecological Evaluation Process - Simplified or Site-Specific?


Process for determining if a site qualifies for a simplified evaluation or if a site-specific evaluation is required. 

If a site does not qualify for one of the primary exclusions, then further evaluation is required.  This section will help you identify the kind of ecological evaluation required for your site, either a simplified or a site-specific.  The type of evaluation required is dependent upon four primary concerns about a site in relation to terrestrial ecological receptors.  If none of these situations of concern are applicable to your site, then you may conduct a simplified evaluation.  However, you always have the option of conducting a site-specific evaluation regardless of the outcome of this section. 

Alternatively,  you may go right to Table 749-3 and compare the known chemical concentrations at your site with those chemicals of ecological concern listed in the table.  If the (maximum or upper ninety-five percent confidence limit) soil concentrations at our site fall below the ecological indicator concentrations listed in the table, you may eliminate those hazardous substances from further consideration in your ecological evaluation. If you eliminate all chemicals of concern at your site in this way, your ecological evaluation would be complete. Remember, for commercial or industrial land uses, only the wildlife values need be considered,  and the table values are not cleanup levels, so concentrations that exceed table values do not necessarily have to be cleaned up.

If you can answer "No" to each (all) of the following four questions, you may conduct either a Simplified Ecological Evaluation or a Site-specific Evaluation.

If you answer "Yes" to any of the questions, you must conduct a Site Specific Evaluation.

  1. Is the site is located on or directly adjacent to an area where management or land use plans will maintain or restore native or semi-native vegetation?

This includes for example, green-belts, protected wetlands, forestlands, locally designated environmentally sensitive areas, open space areas managed for wildlife, and some parks or outdoor recreation areas. This does not include park areas used for intensive sport activities such as baseball or football.

  1. Is the site used by: 

a threatened or endangered species?

a wildlife species classified by the state department of fish and wildlife as a "priority species" or "species of concern" under Title 77 RCW? or

a plant species classified by the Washington state department of Natural Resources natural heritage program as "endangered," "threatened," or "sensitive" under Title 79 RCW. 

For plants, "used" means that a plant species grows at the site or has been found growing at the site.  

For animals, "used" means that individuals of a species have been observed to live, feed or breed at the site?  Link to the Washington Natural Heritage Program

  1. Is the site (area where the contamination is located) located on a property that contains at least ten acres of native vegetation within 500 feet of the site (where the contamination is located)?  Do not include vegetation beyond the property boundary.

  2. Has the department determined that the site may present a risk to significant wildlife populations?

           Click here for a PDF form for documenting your decision-making.

    Click here for an HTML version of the form.


Please contact David Sternberg if you have any questions or comments about the TEE web pages.

[Exclusions Main] [TEE Definitions] [Simplified or Site-Specific?] [Simplified Ecological Evaluation] [Site-Specific Ecological Evaluation] [WAC 173-340-7493] [Index of Tables]