Ecology Improves Remedial Action Grant and Loan Program for Local Governments

Below is Ecology’s news release about these exciting new changes to the remedial action grant program. Adrienne Dorrah of Ecology is the contact person and her contact info is below as well. An important and noteworthy change is that for the first time dollars received from other PLPs are costs eligible for reimbursement. Here is the Ecology news release:

The Department of Ecology (Ecology) proposes to repeal existing Chapter 173-322 WAC and adopt new Chapter 173-322A WAC, Remedial Action Grants and Loans. The new chapter would replace the repealed chapter. The new chapter would modify the existing program of grants and loans to local governments for investigating and cleaning up hazardous waste sites.

Ecology filed the rule proposal on April 15, 2014. The proposal is currently available for review and comment by the public. The proposal will be published in the Washington State Register on May 7, 2014. Ecology will hold one public hearing on the proposal on May 29, 2014. Those unable to attend the public hearing in person may participate through a webinar. The comment period on the rule proposal ends June 6, 2014.

Purpose of rule making

The purpose of the rule making is to:

  • Implement changes to the Model Toxics Control Act, Chapter 70.105D RCW, passed by the Washington State Legislature in 2013 affecting the remedial action grant and loan program. The legislation establishes new funding priorities for the program and directs Ecology to make several changes to the program, including:

  • Enter into extended grant agreements with local governments for projects exceeding $20 million and occurring over multiple budget cycles. Such projects would receive priority for funds.

  • Provide integrated planning grants to local governments for studies that facilitate the cleanup and reuse of contaminated sites.

  • Eliminate methamphetamine lab site assessment and cleanup grants and derelict vessel remedial action grants as separate types of grants.

  • Provide area-wide groundwater remedial action grants without requiring local governments to be a potentially liable person or seek reimbursement of grant funds from such persons.

  • Enter into grant agreements with local governments before they acquire or secure access to a property, provided they include a schedule.

  • Provide periodic reimbursement of the costs of independent remedial actions.

  • Implement cash management principles to ensure budgeted funds are put to work.

  • Make other appropriate changes to the requirements governing remedial action grants and loans (such as updating funding limits and recipient match requirements).

  • Streamline existing requirements, improve rule clarity, and improve consistency with other requirements in this chapter or with other state and federal laws and rules (such as coordinating with agency-wide efforts to streamline and standardize grant processes).

Documents available for review

The following documents are now available for review and comment:

  • Proposed rule language for repeal of chapter 173-322A WAC and adoption of new chapter 173-322A WAC.

  • Document showing differences between chapters 173-322 and 173-322A WAC.

To download these documents, visit: www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/tcp/regs/wac173322/1309-proposal.html.

Public hearing schedule

Ecology will hold one public hearing on this rule proposal. The hearing will begin with a short presentation followed by a question and answer (Q&A) session. Testimony will start at the end of the Q&A session.

Date: May 29, 2014

Time: 10:00 a.m.

Location: Department of Ecology Headquarters 300 Desmond Drive SE Lacey, WA 98503

Webinar: Ecology is also offering the presentation, Q&A session, and public hearing through a webinar. A webinar is online meeting forum that you can join from any computer using internet access. To participate and provide comments through the webinar, you also need to have a phone or a computer with phone modem capability. For more information about the webinar and instructions on how to join and participate through the webinar, visit: www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/tcp/regs/wac173322/1309-proposal.html.

Comments: During the formal public hearing, Ecology will accept comments:

  • At the hearing location; and

  • Through the webinar.

Submit your comments

The comment period ends June 6, 2014.

You can give us your official comments in the following ways:

  • Testify or submit written comments at public hearings.

  • Email your comments to: RAGrule@ecy.wa.gov.

  • Fax comments to: (360) 407-7154.

  • Mail comments to:Department of EcologyToxics Cleanup ProgramAdrienne DorrahPO Box 47600Olympia, WA 98504-760

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