Arsenic in playground soil or leaking chemicals in a solid waste landfill are examples of toxic contamination. Cleanups remove toxic chemicals from the environment, or contain them so they can't harm people or the environment. Successful cleanup can also allow for redevelopment of abandoned or neglected properties, called brownfields. Some cleanups also lead to environmental restoration.

We clean up or supervise clean up at complex sites across Washington. We also provide tools and technical assistance for people cleaning up sites independently. Our work is directed by Washington's cleanup law, the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA), which grew out of a 1978 citizen's initiative.

Find cleanup sites with our What's In My Neighborhood? map or Cleanup and Tank Search tools.

Is there a cleanup site near you? You can help inform your community about cleanup with a Public Participation Grant. These grants are available to members of the public and non-profit organizations.

Property owners can clean sites up on their own, or request technical help through our Voluntary Cleanup Program. All cleanups must meet Washington state standards as laid out in the Model Toxics Control Act.

We have guidance available to help with understanding and planning cleanups:

Local governments may be elligible for grant money to clean up or plan for clean up. 

Cleaning up sites

Keeping people safe from contamination in drinking water

Illustration of Ecology document

PFAS: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances

PFAS are a large group of manufactured chemicals most of which never disappear from the environment. We have concluded that PFAS compounds fall under MTCA and will need to be cleaned up

We now have recommended soil and groundwater cleanup levels for six of the most common PFAS compounds.