Paying for cleanups

Environmental cleanups can be costly but are always worth the effort. They protect and restore natural resources, remove blight, invigorate communities, and make way for new economic opportunities.

We offer several types of grants and loans to help local governments revitalize contaminated sites and return them to beneficial uses. These grants also lessen the trickle-down costs of cleanup to taxpayers and ratepayers and help provide safe drinking water to people living in contaminated areas.

Biennial solicitations

We work with local governments every even-numbered year to understand their 10-year cleanup needs for oversight, area-wide groundwater investigation, and safe drinking water action grants. This helps us estimate the 10-year cost of critical cleanup work in Washington. Solicitation periods are open for these grant and loan types every two years in February of even-numbered years. The responses we receive inform our budget requests to the Governor and Legislature.

The following grants can be applied for each biennium:

  • Oversight remedial action grants and loans — These grants and loans help local governments investigate and clean up contaminated properties with Ecology supervision or that of the U.S Environmental Protection Agency under a legal order or decree. Standard oversight grants are available to local governments.

  • Area-wide groundwater investigation grants — These grants help local governments investigate potential groundwater contamination that may be widespread.

  • Safe drinking water action grants — These grants help local governments provide safe drinking water to people living in areas affected by environmental contamination.

Ongoing solicitations

We provide grant funding to local governments at the early stages of the cleanup and redevelopment process by helping pay for an integrated project plan (Integrated Planning Grants) or after the cleanup is complete (Independent Remedial Action Grants). These grants may be evaluated and awarded throughout the biennium depending on availability of eligible projects and funding.

  • Integrated planning grants — We currently provide two different types of Integrated Planning Grants (IPGs) to help assess contamination issues and develop plans for reusing property after cleanup. Standard IPGs are available for local governments while Affordable Housing IPGs are available to all persons, including both public and private affordable housing developers.

  • Independent remedial action grants — These grants help local governments investigate and clean up contaminated properties under our Voluntary Cleanup Program, which allows independent cleanup of a contaminated site with fee-based assistance from Ecology. Only post-cleanup Independent Remedial Action Grants are currently being accepted. To be eligible, a local government must have obtained for a No Further Action determination for the site or property.