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Budget & strategic planning

Every two years, we submit a request to the Governor for our capital and operating budgets. We also submit our strategic plan with these biennial budget requests. In the years between, we submit supplemental budget requests to address changing needs.

Before a budget is finalized and approved, it goes through several drafts and versions. Below are links to publications and documents relating to Ecology’s budget for the current and previous budget cycles.

Budget and program overview

In our 2017-19 operating and capital budget documents you will find links to Ecology’s budget requests, budget comparisons, and summary documents for the current biennium.

The following publications provide an overview of Ecology's previous biennial budgets. It includes where the money comes from, how it will be used, and the goals we have for our work.

About Ecology's budget

Our work is incredibly complex and diverse, and that is reflected in our budget. We use 55 separate accounts and are the administrator of 49 of those accounts.

Most of Ecology's budget is pass-through funding

In the 2017-19 Biennium, 66 percent of our combined capital and operating budgets will be passed through to local communities to be used on environmental projects throughout Washington. Some of this is provided directly to local governments and communities through grants and loans to help them improve their environment. Some of it is used on projects carried out by Ecology in communities. Pass-through funds directly create jobs, improve economic development, and protect environmental and public health.

Here are a few of the ways this pass-through funding is used:

  • Building water pollution control facilities
  • Protecting and restoring Puget Sound
  • Cleaning up hazardous waste sites
  • Reducing stormwater pollution
  • Improving water supply and watershed health
  • Restoring floodplains
  • Managing solid waste and recycling
  • Reducing toxic diesel and woodstove emissions

Ecology’s 2017-19 budget


The 2017 Legislature passed a $496 million 2017-19 operating budget for Ecology. Early in the 2018 Session, they passed a 2017-19 capital budget that provides $641 million in new spending authority for a wide range of environmental and public health projects. Ecology's total 2017-19 capital budget is $841 million, including reappropriated projects. The 2018 Legislature also added $152 million in capital spending authority and $9.6 million in operating spending authority.

2018 session budget highlights

We had some major budget priorities going into the 2018 session, and all issues were addressed and funded:
  • Resources and a path forward to address the water availability issues associated with the Hirst Supreme Court ruling – Legislation (ESSB 6091) was enacted early in session that lays out a process and funding to address instream flow restoration and certain water supply development projects.
  • Managing the projected $70 million shortfall in our Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) fund balances – The 2017-19 capital budget enacted in January provides bond backfill dollars to address the $70 million shortfall. This means $70 million in delayed toxic site cleanup and stormwater projects across the state can now proceed, and our MTCA fund balances are not facing a shortfall for the first time in many years. 
  • Funding for the Spills Program – The Oil Spill Prevention Account (OSPA) was facing a fund balance shortfall this session. The Legislature passed our agency request bill (ESSB 6269), which expands the barrel tax to include product brought into our state by pipelines, increasing the revenue from the tax. Now all three modes of oil transportation are covered by this tax (vessel, rail and pipeline). Also, a fund transfer from the Oil Spill Response Account resulted in adequate funding for the 2017-19 and 2019-2021 biennia for important spill prevention, planning, and response work. 
  • Secured appropriation for Volkswagen (VW) settlement and penalty resources – A total of $141 million in spending authority is provided that will allow us to use these one-time resources to address priority air quality issues associated with the VW settlement and penalty.

Strategic Plan

Our plan describes the mission, vision, goals, and strategic priorities that guide Ecology. Also included are program missions and our financial, human resource, business technology, and operational support services objectives and capacity.