In Washington state, we've identified over 13,000 contaminated sites in need of cleanup. Over 7,000 of those sites have been cleaned up, and 200 to 300 new sites are reported every year.
What’s in My Neighborhood is a map-based search tool. Cleanup and Tank Search is text-based. Both let you filter sites by location, contaminant, cleanup status, and more. These tools also show completed cleanups.
We publish the Site Register every two weeks with updates about cleanups, policy, comment periods, and public meetings. You can also find events and open comment periods on our Public Input and Events page.
What is a cleanup site?
A cleanup site is a place where a toxic substance is harming or threatening humans or the environment.
Toxic substances can include:
- Petroleum (gasoline, diesel, oil, etc.)
- Heavy metals (lead, arsenic, etc.)
- Chemicals and pesticides
- Persistent organic pollutants (PCBs, dioxins, furans, etc.)
Toxic substances can contaminate multiple types of media, including:
- Sediment (in bays, shorelines, estuaries, lakes, rivers, etc.)
- Water (groundwater, fresh or marine water, and stormwater or surface runoff)
- Air (indoor and outdoor air, soil gas, and vapor intrusion)
Under state and federal laws, people or entities who pollute the air, land, or water are responsible for cleaning up the contamination.
Types of cleanup sites
Most contaminated sites in Washington are handled by our Toxics Cleanup Program and are cleaned up under Washington’s environmental cleanup law, the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA). Property owners may clean up sites independently or under Ecology supervision. Ecology can also clean up sites.
Some sites are exceptions because of the type of facility or contamination. They’re handled by different programs or agencies, and may have to meet additional legal standards: