2017-2019 budget

Budget development and finalizing is an iterative process. Several budget documents are written, summarized, and compared before a budget is finalized and approved. Below is a summary of our 2017-19 biennial budget and highlights from the 2018 Legislative session. At the bottom of this page, you can find documents that summarize and analyze different versions of the budgets as they were moving through the process. We will keep this page until we begin the budget development cycle for the 2021-2023 biennial budget; then this page will be deleted.

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 re-appropriated 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 Washington 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.

2017-19 budget documents