Sediment Management Standards, Chapter 173-204 WAC
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
- Set standards for sediment
quality (there are both numeric and narrative standards);
- Apply the standards to reduce
pollutant discharges; and
- Provide a decision process for
the cleanup of contaminated sediment sites.
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.
Learn more about the SMS rule
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:
- Integrate the SMS and Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA), Chapter
173-340 WAC, cleanup requirements where appropriate.
- Clarify requirements for protection of human health from sediment
- Clarify requirements for protection of higher trophic level
species from sediment contamination.
- Promulgate numeric chemical and biological criteria for
freshwater sediment to protect the benthic community.
- Clarify requirements for coordinating source control and cleanup
actions at cleanup sites.
Learn more about the 2013 update of the SMS rule and view supporting
2013 SMS Rule Making and the
2013 SMS Rule Adoption Documents
SMS Rule Implementation and Guidance Development
Ecology is currently developing tools to support implementation of the revised
rule. This includes:
Guidance. Updating the
Sediment Cleanup Users Manual II (SCUM II) guidance document to reflect
the 2013 revisions to Part V of the SMS rule. The draft is now
available for public review and comment for 75 days. The public
comment period will end May 16, 2014.
Sediment Cleanup Users Manual II
What is SCUM II?
The majority of the SMS rule revisions focused on Part V, Sediment
Cleanup Standards of the SMS rule. The updates to the draft SCUM II reflect
these new sediment cleanup provisions, updated science, and best management
practices. The draft SCUM II is intended as guidance for Ecology site
managers, potentially liable persons, and technical consultants on how to
conduct cleanup of contaminated sediment sites with a focus on how to
implement the Part V provisions of the SMS rule. However, SCUM II is not
intended as comprehensive guidance for implementing the entirety of the SMS
rule, which includes Parts I – IV and VI.
How can comments be submitted?
Ecology encourages and welcomes your feedback on the work we’re doing.
draft SCUM II.
Comments may be submitted in letter or
template format and
should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The public comment period will close on May 16, 2014.
What happens after the SCUM II public comment period?
Ecology plans to convene technical workshops around late spring/early
summer 2014 to work
with interested parties on resolving issues raised during the public comment
period. We anticipate convening approximately three 4–hour workshops, each
with a specific subject area or with related subject areas. We will consider
the public comments and feedback received during the workshops to make
decisions and finalize the guidance. We anticipate the final guidance
document to be complete in fall 2014.
Wood Waste Guidance
Updating the Wood Waste Guidance to reflect the 2013 SMS rule changes.
This guidance provides technical detail for the identification and
assessment of sediment contamination with wood waste.
Access the guidance.
Regional Background.. 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 three
areas of Puget Sound: Port Gardner Bay in the Everett area, North Olympic
Peninsula in the Port Angeles area, and the Lower Duwamish Waterway. Read
more information about our
regional background work.
To review documents related to the regional background work visit:
Other Links of Interest