ALERT: All Ecology offices are closed to walk-in service through at least May 4. For more information please visit our COVID-19 response page. See also the Washington state COVID-19 page.
Are you dealing with contamination in your home or small business? These frequently asked questions help you investigate the problem and determine if you should report the contamination to us.
Discover potential sources of hazardous substances:
You might be concerned about potentially harmful effects on your family, friends, employees, and customers. These pages discuss specific chemicals and their effects:
Yes. Real estate law requires disclosure of known contamination.
See: Sellers’ Disclosures - "Form 17", Chapter 64.06.020 RCW.
You might also consult a real estate attorney before buying or selling property with a history of contamination.
For emergency situations (spills of hazardous substances, drug labs), you should know as many details as possible — but report the spill even if you don't have a lot of details!
Emergencies (spills, drug labs): Our Spills program, the Department of Health Drug Lab Cleanup Program, or your local jurisdiction will coordinate an emergency response.
Tanks (Leaking Underground Storage Tanks): Reports of leaking tanks are referred for an initial investigation. The investigator may visit the site to do an inspection or collect samples. If petroleum products or other hazardous substances are present at actionable levels, timely action is needed.
Other Incidents: We may contact you for follow-up information. Ecology will conduct an initial investigation within 90 days. The investigation may include a site visit or sampling. An initial investigation may lead to an emergency or interim action, site hazard assessment and ranking, or a "No Further Action" decision.
If a problem is not reported or resolved, it will likely become a worse problem later on. Things that might happen from an unreported problem include: