Sediment Management Rule, Policy, and Guidance
The Sediment Management Standards (SMS) Chapter 173-204 WAC is the rule
we use to manage sediment in the state of Washington. The SMS rule is used
The goal of the SMS rule is to reduce and ultimately eliminate adverse
effects on biological resources and significant threats to human health from
surface sediment contamination. The SMS rule was originally adopted in 1991
with subsequent amendments in 1995 and 2013.
2013 SMS Rule Amendments
Ecology adopted the revised Sediment Management Standards rule on February 22, 2013. The new rule became effective on September 1, 2013.
The adopted amendments:
Sediment Management Guidance
Ecology is currently developing tools to support implementation of the revised rule. This includes:
Guidance. An update to the Sediment Cleanup Users Manual II (SCUM II) guidance document to reflect the 2013 revisions to Part V of the SMS rule. You may access the final guidance here: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/SummaryPages/1209057.html
Ecology considered the public comments and feedback received during the workshops to make decisions and finalize the guidance.
Establishing Regional Background for sediment in select embayments in Puget Sound. A key provision in the 2013 SMS rule is the concept of regional background in sediment and establishing regional background is a high priority for Ecology. Regional background can be used to determine the upper cap for sediment cleanup levels if it is established as the cleanup screening level, inform cleanup decisions, and identify potential areas of sediment contamination that may require cleanup.
Ecology is currently working to establish regional background in four areas of Puget Sound: Port Gardner Bay in the Everett area, North Olympic Peninsula in the Port Angeles area, the Lower Duwamish Waterway, and Bellingham Bay. Read more information about our regional background work.
To review documents related to the regional background work visit:
The MTCA-SMS-RULEMAKING-LISTSERV will continue providing updates on the Sediment Management Standards implementation efforts. To receive updates please sign up for e-mail announcements. If you are already subscribed you will continue to receive announcements on the SMS rulemaking effort, plus occasional related information.
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