On August 29, 2014, the Department of Ecology (Ecology) repealed
Chapter 173-322 WAC and adopted new Chapter 173-322A WAC, Remedial
Action Grants and Loans. The new chapter replaces the repealed chapter.
The rules govern the issuance of remedial action grants and loans to
local governments for investigating and cleaning up hazardous waste
sites. The new chapter becomes effective on September 29, 2014.
To get copies of the adopted rule and learn more about the changes, go
What was the subject of this rule making?
Ecology repealed chapter 173-322 WAC and adopted new chapter
173-322A WAC, Remedial Action Grants and Loans. The new chapter modifies
and replaces the repealed chapter. The purpose of the rule making was to:
- Implement changes to the Model Toxics Control Act, Chapter 70.105D
RCW, passed by the Washington State Legislature in 2013 affecting the
remedial action grant and loan program. The legislation establishes new
funding priorities for the program and directs Ecology to make several
changes to the program, including:
Make other appropriate changes to the requirements governing
remedial action grants and loans (such as grant match requirements).
- Enter into extended grant agreements with local governments for
projects exceeding $20 million and occurring over multiple budget
cycles. Such projects would receive priority for grant funds.
- Provide integrated planning grants to local governments for studies
that facilitate the cleanup and reuse of contaminated sites.
- Eliminate methamphetamine lab site assessment and cleanup grants and
derelict vessel remedial action grants as separate types of grants.
- Provide area-wide groundwater remedial action grants without
requiring local governments to be a potentially liable person or seek
reimbursement of grant funds from such persons.
- Enter into grant agreements with local governments before they
acquire or secure access to a property, provided they include a
- Provide periodic reimbursement of the costs of independent remedial
- Implement cash management principles to ensure budgeted funds are
put to work.
Streamline existing requirements, improve rule clarity, and improve
consistency with other requirements in this chapter or with other state
and federal laws and rules (such as coordinating with agency-wide
efforts to streamline and standardize grant processes).
Why was this rule making necessary?
This rule making was necessary to:
Comply with changes to the Model Toxics Control Act, Chapter 70.105D
RCW, passed by the Washington State Legislature in 2013, and continue to
implement those changes after June 30, 2014.
- Encourage and expedite the cleanup and reuse of contaminated sites
by local governments.
- Make the rule easier to use and understand.
The replacement of chapter 173-322 WAC
with chapter 173-322A WAC was necessary to streamline and
clarify the rule.
Who does the rule making affect?
The rule changes affect local governments that:
- Perform initial investigations
and hazard assessments of hazardous waste sites on behalf of Ecology.
- Investigate and clean up
hazardous waste sites where the local government is potentially liable or
responsible under state or federal law.
- Purchase and redevelop property
contaminated by a hazardous waste site.
Why does the rule making matter?
Ecology provides remedial action grants and loans to communities throughout
the state to facilitate the cleanup and reuse of contaminated publicly owned
lands and to lessen the impact of those cleanups on local taxpayers. Funds
for the grants and loans come from a tax on hazardous substances. For the
2013-15 fiscal biennium, the Legislature appropriated $62.5 million for
remedial action grants and loans. These rules govern the issuance and
performance of those grants and loans.
Were the program guidelines updated to reflect the changes in the
rule? Did the public have an opportunity to review and comment on the
Yes. Ecology updated the program guidelines for the 2013-15 fiscal
biennium to reflect the adopted
changes to the rule. Ecology provided the public with an opportunity to
review and comment on the updated guidelines. You can view the
How could the public stay informed about this rule making?
The public could stay informed about the rule making and public involvement
- Accessing this web page, where Ecology posted updates.
- Signing up to receive email notices at:
- Contacting the Rule Coordinator:
Department of Ecology
P.O. Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600
How could the public get involved in this rule making?
The public could get involved in this rule making by:
- Participating in a public meeting during development of the rule
Ecology established a work group to help determine how to
implement the legislative changes and whether any other changes should
be made to the existing rule. We selected group members to represent the
experiences and views of those impacted by the remedial action grants
and loans program.
We held two meetings with this work group. The
meetings were open to the public and time was reserved on the agenda for audience comments. More
information is available at:
- Commenting on the rule proposal once developed.
Ecology submitted the proposal for review and comment and held one public hearing on the proposal.