WSR 17-02-010
[Order 16-13—Filed December 22, 2016, 2:00 p.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: This rule making will amend chapter 173-321 WAC, Public participation grants. The rule establishes eligibility requirements and funding criteria for grants authorized by chapter 70.105D RCW, Model Toxics Control Act.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapter 70.105D RCW, Model Toxics Control Act, including RCW 70.105D.070 funding the public participation grants program and RCW 70.105D.070(8) authorizing the department to adopt rules for grant issuance and performance.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: As directed under chapter 70.105D RCW, ecology has the authority to administer a program for grants to "persons who may be adversely affected by a release or threatened release of a hazardous substance and not-for-profit public interest groups." Grants are used to "facilitate public participation in the investigation and remediation of a release or threatened release of a hazardous substance and to implement the state's solid and hazardous waste management priorities."
In 2016, ecology obtained an independent audit of our public participation grants program. The current process requires a significant amount of time and agency resources to establish applicant eligibility and award the grants. Changes ecology is considering are either specific audit recommendations or based on the agency's experiences implementing the program. Clarifying applicant eligibility, establishing priorities, updating and making application evaluation criteria more visible will result in a more streamlined process.
Ecology will also investigate the best approach to incorporating environmental justice as a criterion for grant awards. This may result in updated rule language.
Updating the rule now will allow us to apply these changes to grants awarded in the 2017-19 biennium.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: No other agencies implement this grant program. WAC 173-321-030 addresses the relationship to other legislation and administrative rules: "(1) The organization receiving a grant shall comply fully with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, orders, regulations, and permits. (2) Nothing in this chapter shall influence, affect or modify existing department programs, regulations, or enforcement of applicable laws relating to solid and hazardous waste management and cleanup. (3) All grants shall be subject to the existing, applicable accounting and auditing requirements of state laws and regulations …"
Process for Developing New Rule: Ecology will follow the standard process for the adoption of rules under the Administrative Procedure Act (chapter 34.05 RCW).
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. Interested parties can stay informed about the rule making and public involvement opportunities as described below. Ecology will extend an offer for government-to-government consultation with tribal governments during each phase of rule development.
1. Visit the agency web page at
2. Sign up to receive email notices at
3. Contact Lynn Gooding, Department of Ecology, Waste 2 Resources, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600, phone (360) 407-6062, email
December 22, 2016
Laurie G. Davies
Waste 2 Resources
Program Manager