Last month, with unanimous bipartisan support, Washington legislators passed a bill that will expedite efforts to clean up contaminated sites around the state. The bill, which Governor Inslee signed on April 23, 2019, and goes into effect on July 28, 2019, confirms the Department of Ecology’s authority to implement and recover costs for a program providing accelerated technical advice and assistance, including no further action determinations, under MTCA’s Voluntary Cleanup Program. The law also authorizes Ecology to waive costs under the new program for affordable housing projects after considering the proponent’s ability to pay and the public benefit of the redevelopment.

Ecology proposed the legislation to address the large number of contaminated sites on the Voluntary Cleanup Program waitlist. As of December 2018, the waitlist included over 150 sites. About 800 sites in total were enrolled in the program at the time.

For additional background information, please see a related alert here.