Chapter 173-312 WAC and Chapter 173-313 WAC

Local Solid Waste Financial Assistance and Local Solid Waste Enforcement Grant Regulation



Tami Ramsey


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These rules pertain to the administration of a grant program that by law awards funds only to local government agencies. The Local Solid Waste Financial Assistance rule (formerly Coordinated Prevention Grants) and Local Solid Waste Enforcement Grant Regulation are important tools to assist local governments in the development and implementation of local waste management plans and programs, including enforcement.

Ecology worked with an advisory committee comprised of local stakeholders to revise the Local Solid Waste Financial Assistance rule, including incorporating the important provisions of the Local Solid Waste Enforcement Regulation with the goal of combining and streamlining the regulations. During rulemaking, we updated our web pages to provide information, notified interested parties through the agency email ListServ (WAC Track), through a new Program ListServ, by e-mailing contacts identified in our grants-related database and those identified by grants staff, and by publishing notice in the Washington State Register.

A draft of proposed changes to the rule was shared with all stakeholders at public meetings in Bellevue and Union Gap, and by webinar, in March 2017. A public hearing was held on the formally proposed rule on June 27, 2017 in Olympia and comments were accepted until July 7, 2017. The final rule was adopted on September 8, 2017 and will be effective on October 9, 2017. At that time, Chapter 173-313 WAC - Local Solid Waste Enforcement Grant Regulation will be repealed.

Why we revised these rules:

We amended Chapter 173-312 WAC for the following reasons:

  • Stakeholders requested clarification and other modifications including updating the name of the program.
  • We wanted to improve the focus on funding projects that yield the best return on the investment.
  • We wanted to improve coordinated planning across local jurisdictions.
  • The grants program has evolved. Criteria and limitations described in the current rule no longer reflected the best approach.

We repealed Chapter 173-313 WAC because:

  • The two rules draw funds from the same source. Both serve local governments. Much of the language in Chapter 173-313 WAC was already reflected in Chapter 173-312 WAC.
  • We could reduce redundancy and increase efficiency by combining the two chapters. We now have one less rule and a consolidated grant program.

What we want to accomplish:

We believe revision for Chapter 173-312 WAC will achieve the following results:

  • Stakeholders will benefit from clarifying the scope and purpose of the program.
  • We will be able to select better projects and manage those projects more efficiently.
  • We will encourage better performance by creating a consequence for non-performance that is notable but not overly punitive.
  • Allocation of funds will improve.

Incorporating the essential elements of Chapter 173-313 WAC in Chapter 173-312 WAC, consolidates two related grant programs, and allows us to eliminate a chapter of the Washington Administrative Code. This practical step results in a more efficient grant program.

Scope of rule development

We adopted amendments to Chapter 173-312 WAC to:

  • Change the name of the grants program from Coordinated Prevention Grants to Local Solid Waste Financial Assistance, and revise the purpose statement to reflect the essential functions of the grant program.
  • Incorporate the use of funds for purposes of solid waste enforcement, consistent with the repeal of Chapter 173-313.
  • Revise, clarify, and add definitions to support the revised rule.
  • Simplify and clarify language regarding eligible activities.
  • Clarify the obligation of primary responsible local governments and partnering local governments to coordinate.
  • Organize the rule around statutory priorities.
  • Eliminate the ten percent bonus for coordinated applications.
  • Implement a reduction in the recipient award by up to ten percent for recipients who fail to comply with the terms or administrative requirements of a previous award.
  • Reduce the potential need for a second grant cycle using unrequested or unallocated funds, in favor of an emphasis on the soonest possible distribution of available funds. We reserved the ability to notify potential recipients of additional opportunities to apply if a separate process becomes available.
  • Revise the eighty/twenty percent allocation of funds between planning/implementation funding and enforcement funding, by establishing a minimum allocation for funding enforcement grants.
  • Add a population criteria element and a fixed amount for solid waste enforcement grant funding, consistent with the approach for planning/implementation funding.
  • Eliminate the obligation of grant recipients to set aside funding for the next cycle when the full scope of work in the current cycle is not accomplished.

We repealed Chapter 173-313 WAC, but preserved that program by incorporating essential language in revisions to Chapter 173-312 WAC.