July 12, 2001
MTCA revisions take effect Aug. 15
By CAITLIN CORMIER
Department of Ecology
On Feb. 12 after five years of collaboration with public and private groups, the Washington State Department of Ecology adopted revisions to the Model Toxics Control Act cleanup regulation.
The Model Toxics Control Act is an initiative passed overwhelmingly by voters in 1988. It established cleanup levels, standards and processes for contaminated sites in Washington state.
The purpose of the revisions is to make the rules easier to understand, consistent with new scientific information, include recommendations from advisory boards and reflect agency policies.
Ecology worked for five years on revisions, using advice from the Policy Advisory Committee and other groups representing Ecology, local government, environmental groups, legislators, large and small businesses, insurance, the agricultural community and scientists.
The updated rule reflects changes to a number of issues, such as applications for natural attenuation. There were also additions to the rule to address issues of concern to the public, such as model remedies for commercial gas stations.
The revisions will be effective on Aug. 15. This decision was made to allow six-months for work to begin on key policies issues that have been identified and to begin training/educating Ecology staff, the regulated community, consultants and the general public.
Ecology identified a list of actions that are of the highest priority and demanded additional time between adoption and implementation.
Some of the issues of greatest interest include remedy selection, terrestrial ecological evaluations and creation of a citizen technical advisor position.
These issues and others will serve the interests of the environmental community, business community and Ecology site managers.
For more information on the cleanup regulation, visit Ecology’s Web site at www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/tcp/regs/reg_main.html.
Caitlin Cormier is a public information officer at the state Department of Ecology specializing in waste issues.
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