Cleanup Rule exploratory rulemaking

We're conducting an exploratory process to update Washington's Cleanup Rule, Chapter 173-340 WAC.

The Cleanup Rule sets standards and procedures for cleaning up contaminated sites under the state's environmental cleanup law, the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA), Chapter 70.105D RCW. Both the rule and law help us remove contamination that can pose risks to your health and the environment. 

What's an "exploratory rulemaking process?"

It's a new approach for updating the Cleanup Rule. Instead of updating it all at once, we're doing so in three stages called "rulemakings" over several years. Each rulemaking will focus on a few selected topics. This approach will help speed adoption of the changes that are most urgent for people who use the rule.

What's the plan?

First rulemaking (2018–2020): We'll update parts of the rule that contain administrative and procedural requirements for site cleanups. We won't change the technical cleanup standards during the first rulemaking. For details, read the CR-101 announcement at Chapter 173-340 WAC.

Second rulemaking (anticipated starting 2021): We'll update the technical cleanup standards.  

Third rulemaking (anticipated starting 2023): We'll address previously deferred topics and other issues that emerge during the first two rulemakings.

How can I participate?

  1. Visit Chapter 173-340 WAC for timelines, documents, and next steps, including information about stakeholder meetings beginning Summer 2019.
  2. Subscribe to Cleanup Rule email updates.
  3. Watch the statewide exploratory rulemaking webinar (April 3, 2018), view the slide deck, and read the comments received in 2018.
  4. Check our public events listing for upcoming public listening sessions and opportunities to comment.

How did the 2018 scoping session help shape the process?

During our April 2018 statewide listening session in Lacey, Union Gap, Spokane, Bellevue, and online, we gathered ideas on which topics we should consider for the official rulemaking process. Watch the webinar, download the slides, read the comments, then subscribe to Cleanup Rule emails for more opportunities to comment on specific rule changes during upcoming rulemakings. 

Figure 1. Rule changes (by category) suggested by the public during the Cleanup Rule Exploratory Rulemaking, Feb. 14–May 11, 2018. Download a narrative description of Figure 1 pie chart.

How long will it take to update the Cleanup Rule?

It may take several rulemakings over the next five to 10 years to update this complex rule. Your input during the formal rulemakings will help us plan this work over the coming years. Please note that we may need to change the planned rulemaking and review schedule, based on public input or circumstances beyond our control.

Where can I learn more about MTCA?

Visit Model Toxics Control Act to learn how Washington's cleanup law is working to protect your health and environment.

Exploratory rulemaking communications

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