Reducing Toxic Threats photo identifier

Reducing Toxic Threats

Toxics Reduction Strategy Workgroup

In recent years, one of Ecology’s top priorities has been reducing toxic threats in our state, and Washington has made significant progress in reducing toxic chemicals in the products we consume, the air, land and water that sustain us, and in other areas. But significant opportunities to prevent toxic releases and exposures are not captured by current laws and resources, and continue to go unrealized. While we are proud of the progress we have made, our work is far from done.

Far too many toxic releases and exposures still occur, many of which are avoidable. Incentives to design pollution out of our manufacturing and industrial processes are often weak or non-existent, the regulatory process fails to address significant sources of concern, and federal law underpinning toxic chemicals management is outdated and deficient. Laws like the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act have enabled great progress and real protections over time, but relying on statutes designed for single, "point-source" pollution to fix problems from diffuse, "non-point" sources has inherent limits.

To address this, Ecology convened a group of thought leaders to take a creative and comprehensive look at our current approaches, and see how we can do better. The goal of the group was to explore opportunities to develop a new framework for preventing toxic pollution that delivers greater environmental and human health benefits while minimizing transaction costs for controlling such pollution. In January 2013, the Toxics Reduction Strategy Workgroup released its white paper on Toxics Policy Reform for Washington State.

(In related work, Ecology is proposing to revise the Sediment Management Standards and the Surface Water Quality Standards and has created a public process for interested parties, called the Policy Forum, to assist the agency in the Surface Water Quality rule work.)

Meeting Documents

January 10th, 2013 December 11th, 2012 November 19th, 2012 October 25, 2012 October 15, 2012 - Conference Call September 28, 2012