The public plays a vital role in the decisions we make to protect the environment. We encourage everyone in Washington to attend meetings and informational workshops, and to provide comment on rules and decisions.
Our public input process lets you have your voice heard and influence decisions we make on behalf of the environment. You know about your neighborhood, community, and local conditions and how our regulatory proposals may affect them. Although we’re bound by state and federal laws, your comments can influence how solutions are achieved.
Public participation opportunities
- Contamination site cleanups - The Model Toxics Control Act requires Ecology to provide information and opportunities for participation in the cleanup of contaminated sites. The Site Register contains information that alerts the public to the availability of reports, current open public comment periods, upcoming public meetings and events, and other activities related to the study and cleanup of contaminated sites.
- State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) - The SEPA Register lists SEPA documents received by Ecology during the last two weeks and older documents whose comment period has not yet closed. The SEPA Register is updated each state business day.
- Shoreline Master Programs - Shoreline Master Programs (SMPs) are local land-use policies and regulations that guide use of Washington shorelines. We review and approve SMPs for local governments and provide guidance and technical assistance to help governments develop their programs. Find the status of your local SMP.
- Water rights - There are many opportunities for the public to comment during the water rights process, including: Water conservancy board records of decisions, trust water rights from donations, draft reports of examination and water budget neutral determinations
Get involved — We need your voice
"Every day, we make important decisions at Ecology. These decisions affect the quality of life of the people who live in this great state now and for generations to come . . . . We have both the opportunity and responsibility to consider the public's input in our decision making. This allows our state's diverse public to say what they believe the impact of our decisions will have on them as individuals or to a particular interest group.
"This is important input. It helps us understand whether there is enough public support to sustain a decision over time. It helps us make sure we have good scientific, legal, and economic foundations for our actions.
"It is within this thoughtful environment that we make important decisions at Ecology. Every element and person contributing to the knowledge base informing the decision needs to be treated with respect. We weigh the considerations — scientific, legal, economic, social, and technical — to address the environmental needs of the state. That is our strength; the diversity of information we use in our decision-making. "
- Polly Zehm, Ecology Deputy Director