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 two types of grants; one to support local governments and the other to support cleanup projects when the cleaned site will be used for affordable housing.

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 January or 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.

  • Affordable Housing Cleanup Grants — These grants can help any person, including public or private affordable housing developers, to investigate and clean up a contaminated site under an order or decree, if the property or properties will be used for affordable housing after cleanup. 

Other grant solicitations

These grants may be evaluated and awarded throughout the biennium depending on availability of eligible projects and funding.

  • Integrated planning grants — These grants help local governments to assess one or more contaminated sites and develop integrated projects plans for cleaning up and redeveloping brownfield properties at those sites. Brownfield properties are previously developed properties that are currently abandoned or underused because of actual or perceived historic contamination. IPGs are intended to help local governments make informed decisions when considering whether to purchase or redevelop such properties. IPG solicitations are opened as funding is available, visit the IPG webpage for current funding information.

  • Affordable housing planning grants — These grants can help public, private, or nonprofit entities that are considering cleaning up a contaminated site to use as affordable housing. These grants can cover initial and remedial investigations, community involvement plans, and project feasibility studies including planning, investigative, and technical work needed to for cleaning up contaminated sites. Planning grant solicitations are opened as funding is available.

  • 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 (cleanup without a legal agreement or order) 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 a No Further Action determination for the site or property. This solicitation is ongoing throughout the biennium.