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Model Toxics Control Act

The Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) is Washington’s environmental cleanup law. MTCA funds and directs the investigation, cleanup, and prevention of sites that are contaminated by hazardous substances. It works to protect people’s health and the environment, and to preserve natural resources for the future.

There are more than 12,500 known or suspected contaminated sites in Washington — and the list keeps growing. Thanks to cleanup efforts funded by MTCA, more than 6,600 of these sites are already cleaned up or require no further action.

The Hazardous Substance Tax helps pay for this cleanup work. Voters approved a tax on hazardous substances (such as petroleum products, pesticides, and other chemicals) to pay for cleanups. Under MTCA, we might also recover penalties or require polluters to pay for cleanups and our oversight.

Rules and policies put MTCA into action. We’ve developed rules and policies that set cleanup standards and other requirements. These make sure cleanups protect your health and the environment.

The Toxics Cleanup Program is one of several Ecology programs that receive funds from MTCA. The Toxics Cleanup Program has primary responsibility for implementing and enforcing MTCA. They develop MTCA’s rules, policies, and guidance, and oversee or manage most of the cleanups in Washington. They also manage a grant program that helps local governments clean up contaminated sites in their communities so they can put abandoned properties back into use.