30 Years of Toxics Reduction and Pollution Prevention

The state of Washington’s Department of Ecology was created in February 1970, the first environmental regulation agency in the country. In fact, it predates the federal Environmental Protection Agency by several months. Ecology administers laws and regulations pertaining to the areas of water quality, water rights and resources, shoreline management, toxics cleanup, nuclear and hazardous waste, and air quality.

As part of those efforts, the agency’s Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction Program — sometimes called Haz-Waste or HWTR — has been working on pollution prevention for over 30 years, as of 2021. Dubbed “P2” by those involved, work was already underway at Ecology when the Legislature passed the Hazardous Waste Reduction Act in 1988. That launched statewide toxics reduction efforts, or "TR," that continue to this day.

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