Department of Ecology

  Annual FTEs General Fund State Other Funds Total Funds
  (Dollars in Thousands)
Estimated Expenditures 1,764.8 61,620 550,202 611,822
2021-23 Maintenance Level 1,744.3 58,659 529,346 588,005
Difference from 2019-21 (20.5) (2,961) (20,856) (23,817)
% Change from 2019-21 (1.2%) (4.8%) (3.8%) (3.9%)

2021-23 Policy Other Changes

Enhanced Product Testing 0.0 0 398 398
Climate Commitment Act 34.6 0 12,244 12,244
WCMAC Operating Shift 0.0 0 150 150
Implementing GHG Limits Program 0.90 0 243 243
Meeting Air Operating Permit Needs 0.70 0 218 218
Biosolids Permitting Efficiencies 1.2 0 268 268
Sustainable Recycling 0.60 0 620 620
Title VI Compliance/Advance EJ 1.2 0 328 328
Preventing Federal Nonattainment 1.7 0 2,062 2,062
Antifouling Paint Technical Review 1.5 0 377 377
Expand Product Testing 7.5 0 2,305 2,305
Water Resources GF-S Reduction (1.2) (178) 0 (178)
Equipment Cache Grant Delay 0.0 0 242 242
Floodplain Management Grants 0.0 0 1,529 1,529
15% Reduction: Shift GF-S to MTCA 0.0 (8,781) 8,781 0
Move Aquatic Grants to Capital (2.4) 0 (2,034) (2,034)
Hanford SEPA Evaluation Support 1.2 0 268 268
Hanford Unauthorized Unit Closures 1.2 0 338 338
Shift to Voluntary Cleanup Account 0.0 0 412 412
Local Solid Waste Assistance 0.0 0 10,000 10,000
Safer Products for Washington 3.6 0 1,554 1,554
Increase Water Cleanup Plans 9.8 0 3,897 3,897
Water Right Adjudications 2.3 1,250 0 1,250
Federal Waters of the U.S. Rollback 6.9 0 1,482 1,482
Aquaculture Section 401 Permitting 2.9 0 716 716
Clean Transportation Fuel Standards 8.3 2,478 373 2,851
2021-23 Policy Other Changes Total 82.5 (5,231) 46,771 41,540

2021-23 Policy Comp Changes

Pension Adjustments, nonrate 0.0 30 240 270
State Employee Benefits 0.0 (12) (96) (108)
WFSE General Government 0.0 (1,349) (10,703) (12,052)
Temporary Layoffs and Other Savings 0.0 (333) (2,667) (3,000)
Rep Employee Health Benefits 0.0 (61) (468) (529)
Non-Rep General Wage Increase 0.0 (266) (964) (1,230)
2021-23 Policy Comp Changes Total 0.0 (1,991) (14,658) (16,649)

2021-23 Policy Central Services Changes

Archives/Records Management 0.0 2 16 18
Audit Services 0.0 (2) (11) (13)
Legal Services 0.0 (239) (619) (858)
CTS Central Services 0.0 45 355 400
DES Central Services 0.0 12 91 103
OFM Central Services 0.0 237 1,861 2,098
2021-23 Policy Central Services Changes Total 0.0 55 1,693 1,748
Total Policy Changes 82.5 (7,167) 33,806 26,639
2021-23 Policy Level 1,826.8 51,492 563,152 614,644
Difference from 2019-21 62.0 (10,128) 12,950 2,822
% Change from 2019-21 3.5% (16.4%) 2.4% 0.46%

Policy Changes

Enhanced Product Testing

The biggest source of toxic pollution in Washington is toxic chemicals in ordinary consumer products. The 2019-21 budget increased the number of product testing studies conducted by the agency each year. Ongoing funding is provided to ensure continued testing at that level. (Model Toxics Control Operating Acct - State)

Climate Commitment Act

To implement the Climate Commitment Act, funding and FTE staff are provided for oversight and implementation of a new carbon market program, including compliance and enforcement, technical assistance, information technology work, data collection, emitter reporting and market monitoring. One-time bridge funding from the Model Toxics Control Operating Account is provided for carbon market costs that will be incurred before the Carbon Investment Account has sufficient revenue. (Model Toxics Control Operating Acct - State, Climate Investment Account - State)

WCMAC Operating Shift

The ongoing costs of facilitating operations and meetings of the Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council (WCMAC) is shifted from the Department of Natural Resources to the Department of Ecology. (Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account - State)

Implementing GHG Limits Program

In 2020, the Legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 2311, updating greenhouse gas (GHG) limits and amending reporting requirements. This legislation amended GHG emission limits to make them consistent with the most recent assessment of climate change science. Funding is provided for the department to complete work required under this new law, including tracking progress toward meeting the state's emissions reductions limits, providing technical assistance to state agencies to develop action plans and long-term strategies to meet emissions limits, and updating the agency's own long-term plan to meet emissions limits. (Model Toxics Control Operating Acct - State)

Meeting Air Operating Permit Needs

The Air Operating Permit program sets air pollution limits for large industrial facilities. Regulated entities are required by law to pay the full costs of the program. Each biennium, the Department of Ecology prepares a workload model, based on current costs and workload projections, to determine the funding necessary to administer the program. Ongoing funding and staff are provided to match the projected workload. (Air Operating Permit Account - State)

Biosolids Permitting Efficiencies

The Biosolids Program regulates 375 sewage treatment plants, septage management facilities, and beneficial use facilities that generate, treat, and use biosolids. Ecology protects public and environmental health through efficient biosolids permitting and technical assistance, outreach, and education to permittees and other stakeholders. The department revised the general permit during the 2019-21 biennium to improve permit coverage and timeliness and increase technical assistance and field visits to meet program demands. Ongoing funding and staff are provided to implement the revised permitting process and provide stakeholder outreach and training. (General Fund - State, Biosolids Permit Account - State)

Sustainable Recycling

The Sustainable Recycling Act, passed in 2019, created a Recycling Development Center to research, develop, expand, and incentivize markets for recycled commodities. To continue implementation of the act, ongoing additional funding allows Ecology to conduct research and development, marketing, and policy analysis to further the development of revitalized markets for recycled products in Washington as required by law. (Waste Reduct/Recycle/Litter Control - State)

Title VI Compliance/Advance EJ

Ecology is unable to meet growing federal compliance obligations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. Lack of compliance exposes the agency to legal liability and can create barriers to public access, fair treatment, and meaningful involvement in its programs, particularly for communities of color and limited English speaking populations. Staff resources are provided for the agency to address requirements for disability access, language coordination, grievance procedures, and sub-recipient accountability. Additionally, staff will work to align agency practices with recommendations from the Environmental Justice Task Force that are critical to advancing nondiscrimination, equity, and environmental justice (EJ). (Model Toxics Control Operating Acct - State)

Preventing Federal Nonattainment

When federal air quality standards are violated, both public health and the economy suffer as federal laws require costly and rigorous regulatory interventions to return communities to clean air status. Currently, 17 communities in Washington are at risk of violating federal air quality standards, especially for fine particle pollution. Ongoing funding will increase grant funding and technical assistance to communities for projects that reduce air pollution in areas at risk of nonattainment. (Model Toxics Control Operating Acct - State)

Antifouling Paint Technical Review

Antifouling paints or coatings used to protect boats left in water contain toxic chemicals that are released into the water and can have negative effects on critical aquatic species, including salmon. Substitute Senate Bill 6210, passed in 2020, postpones a ban on copper restrictions in antifouling paint, and requires the department to conduct a technical review of antifouling products. Funding is provided to complete work required by the new law, including an analysis of whether new regulatory restrictions on paint ingredients are needed and identification of safer alternatives. (Hazardous Waste Assistance Account - State)

Expand Product Testing

Washington is a national leader in consumer protection. Ecology's product testing team tests for toxics in consumer products available for retail or online sale. This science helps support regulatory actions against products and manufacturers not in compliance with state laws. There are currently tens of thousands of toxic chemicals in everyday products, and the agency can currently address only a fraction of the projects that need to be completed. Funding for additional staff and lab resources needed to double testing capacity for toxics in children's products and other general consumer goods is provided. (Model Toxics Control Operating Acct - State)

Water Resources GF-S Reduction

To address the revenue shortfall in General Fund-State, Ecology will hold a 1.0 FTE vacancy in its Water Resources Program for the 2021-23 biennium. This program is responsible for statewide water resource management activities, which include making decisions on applications for water rights, establishing instream flows, and enforcing the water code. (General Fund - State)

Equipment Cache Grant Delay

The Equipment Cache Grant program supports a statewide local response network by providing equipment to respond to oil and hazardous materials spills and fires. Due to the delayed issuance of grants resulting from the Tumwater Brewery oil spill, a grant issued to the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe for a new response vessel may not be able to be spent by the end of the 2019-21 biennium. One-time contingency funding is provided in case the vessel purchase cannot be completed by the end of the 2019-21 biennium. (Model Toxics Control Operating Acct - State)

Floodplain Management Grants

State law establishing the Flood Control Assistance Account Program requires that funding be transferred from General Fund-State to the Flood Control Assistance Account each biennium to pay for flood risk reduction activities, including grants to local governmentsto prepare comprehensive flood control management plans. Ongoing increased appropriation to the Flood Control Assistance Account will allow the agency to restore the existing grant program to the required level. (Flood Control Assistance Account - State)

15% Reduction: Shift GF-S to MTCA

A mix of one-time and ongoing fund shifts for specific operating budget activities from General Fund-State to the Model Toxics Control Operating Account will reduce the demand on GF-S, while maintaining funding needed for critical environmental and public health work. Many of these activities support state environmental priorities, such as Southern Resident orca recovery and protection, and climate change. (Model Toxics Control Operating Acct - State, General Fund - State)

Move Aquatic Grants to Capital

Funding for the Freshwater Algae and Freshwater Aquatic Invasive Plants Grant programs is moved from the operating budget to the capital budget, similar to many other pass-through funding programs. Doing so will allow communities more predictable and durable funding for their local projects. A more efficient and effective program will mean fewer toxic algae blooms and aquatic weeds affecting lakes and streams in Washington. (Aquatic Algae Control Account - State, Freshwater Aquatic Weeds Account - State)

Hanford SEPA Evaluation Support

The State Environmental Policy Act process identifies and analyzes environmental impacts associated with regulatory actions and permit decisions. SEPA evaluations are required for both dangerous waste and air quality regulatory and permitting actions taken by Ecology's Nuclear Waste Program at Hanford. Numerous modifications are required each year to Hanford's dangerous waste permit, and the program does not have the staffing resources or expertise needed to handle the volume of technically complex SEPA evaluations it must complete. This item provides for a dedicated position to support the completion of complex, high-quality SEPA determinations, which will support timely, responsible permit decisions. (Radioactive Mixed Waste Acct - State)

Hanford Unauthorized Unit Closures

One-time increased expenditure authority is provided for a project position to ensure sufficient staffing resources to develop and issue plans for closing 13 units at the Hanford site. Closing the unauthorized units will resolve an outstanding Environmental Protection Agency enforcement action and an agreed order with the department. (Radioactive Mixed Waste Acct - State)

Shift to Voluntary Cleanup Account

Washington's toxics prevention and cleanup law, the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA), allows owners of contaminated properties to perform cleanups and achieve regulatory closure either independently or under Ecology's supervision. Through its Voluntary Cleanup Program, Ecology provides owners of contaminated sites with technical assistance and opinions on the sufficiency of independent cleanups. In 2019, Substitute House Bill 1290 authorized an expedited VCP program and created a new dedicated fee and account to support it. A fund shift from the Model Toxics Control Operating Account to the new Voluntary Cleanup Account is needed to implement the expedited VCP. This funding will encourage cleanups and facilitate redevelopment of contaminated properties in Washington, thereby improving public health and spurring economic development. (Voluntary Cleanup Account - State, Model Toxics Control Operating Acct - State)

Local Solid Waste Assistance

The Local Solid Waste Financial Assistance Program supports essential activities to implement required local solid and hazardous waste management plans and resource conservation through waste reduction, recycling, and reuse programs. Increased funding of financial assistance grants to local governments will help clean up solid, hazardous, and infectious waste generated by homeless encampments; implement local recycling contamination reduction and outreach plans; and support other solid waste management and enforcement activities directed by law. (Model Toxics Control Operating Acct - State)

Safer Products for Washington

The Safer Products Act, passed in 2019, requires Ecology to identify consumer products that are significant sources or uses of hazardous chemicals, determine whether there are safer alternatives, and implement restrictions and reporting requirements as necessary. The long-term human health, environmental, and economic impacts of toxic chemicals are substantial. Removing toxins from products is significantly more efficient than cleanup after use. An ongoing funding level is provided to implement the next phases of the law's five-year regulatory cycle, which includes the evaluations of safer alternatives to priority toxic chemicals in products, and if needed, the development of regulations to restrict their use. (Model Toxics Control Operating Acct - State)

Increase Water Cleanup Plans

Washington has a growing list of polluted water bodies and is required under federal law to restore water quality to our rivers and lakes. Increased resources to identify pollution sources will allow Ecology to reduce water quality discharge permit limits, where needed, to improve water quality for humans and wildlife. This item provides technical staff and resources to create scientifically and legally defensible water cleanup plans that set limits to clean up toxic pollution sources across the state and meet regulatory obligations. (Model Toxics Control Operating Acct - State)

Water Right Adjudications

In many watersheds, uncertainty exists regarding the validity and extent of both surface and groundwater rights and claims. Adjudicating water rights is a judicial process that resolves conflict, sets the stage for effective planning and management of water resources, and increases economic and environmental certainty for water users and the state. The department will begin pre-adjudication work in the Nooksack and Upper Columbia watersheds including mapping, identification of individuals subject to adjudication, and development of needed data systems. This item also provides Whatcom County pass-through funding for work and contracts for facilitation and mediation services in support of a water rights settlement process. (General Fund - State)

Federal Waters of the U.S. Rollback

The federal government's definition of waters of the United States now excludes some of Washington wetlands and other waters from federal protection. The state Water Pollution Control Act still provides protection for all Washington wetlands and waters. Now that federal permits for projects that could impact these waters are no longer available, the state will need to provide a state permit or authorization before such projects can proceed. Funding is provided for staff to address the substantial new workload that will result from the increase in state authorizations. (Model Toxics Control Operating Acct - State)

Aquaculture Section 401 Permitting

A June 2020 judicial ruling vacated the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Nationwide Permit 48 for the Washington shellfish industry. Shellfish farmers must now seek individual certification from the state. The agency anticipates receiving approximately 900 new requests for Section 401 Water Quality certifications and Coastal Zone Management federal consistency determinations for Washington's shellfish operations. Funding is provided for staff to support this new workload and ensure the state is responsive to the needs of this important state industry. (Model Toxics Control Operating Acct - State)

Clean Transportation Fuel Standards

The transportation sector amounts to almost 45 percent of statewide greenhouse gas emissions. Contingent upon passage of legislation requiring the establishment of clean fuel standards, a combination of one-time and ongoing funding and staff are provided to implement a clean fuel program. This work includes rulemaking, compliance tracking and monitoring with a low-carbon fuel standard, and development of a registration system for affected fuel producers and importers. (General Fund - State, Clean Fuels Program Account - State)

Pension Adjustments, nonrate

This funds the potential impact of Department of Retirement Systems request legislation on pension service credit and benefit calculation. It will prevent budget reductions such as temporary layoffs from negatively affecting employee retirement benefits. (General Fund - State, Model Toxics Control Operating Acct - State, General Fund - Federal, other funds)

State Employee Benefits

Health insurance funding is provided for state employees who are not represented by a union, who are covered by a bargaining agreement that is not subject to financial feasibility determination, or who are not part of the coalition of unions for health benefits. The insurance funding rate is $988 per employee per month for fiscal year 2022 and $1,018 per employee per month for fiscal year 2023. (Underground Storage Tank Account - State, General Fund - Private/Local, Air Pollution Control Account - State, other funds)

WFSE General Government

This adjustment reflects the impact of the 2021-23 collective bargaining agreement. (Freshwater Aquatic Weeds Account - State, Photovoltaic Module Recycling Acct - Non-Appropriated, Aquatic Algae Control Account - State, other funds)

Temporary Layoffs and Other Savings

This item reflects savings achieved from temporary layoffs or similar actions. (Wood Stove Education/Enforcement - State, Dedicated Marijuana Acct - State, Biosolids Permit Account - State, other funds)

Rep Employee Health Benefits

This provides health insurance funding for the master agreement for employee benefits as part of a coalition of unions. The insurance funding rate is $988 per employee per month for fiscal year 2022 and $1,018 per employee per month for fiscal year 2023. (Freshwater Aquatic Weeds Account - State, Electronic Products Recycling Acct - Non-Appropriated, Dedicated Marijuana Acct - State, other funds)

Non-Rep General Wage Increase

This reflects savings from the cancellation of the July 1, 2020 general wage increase for some non-represented, non-classified employees. (General Fund - Private/Local, Product Stewardship Programs Acct - Non-Appropriated, Reclamation Account - State, other funds)

Archives/Records Management

Adjustments are made for each agency’s anticipated share of charges for archives and records management services provided by the Secretary of State’s Office. (General Fund - State, Water Quality Permit Account - State, Model Toxics Control Operating Acct - State, other funds)

Audit Services

Adjustments are made for each agency’s anticipated cost of audits performed by the State Auditor’s Office. (Water Quality Permit Account - State, Radioactive Mixed Waste Acct - State, General Fund - State, other funds)

Legal Services

Adjustments are made for each agency’s anticipated cost of legal services provided by the Attorney General’s Office. Because legal services expenditures are based on consumption, funding provided in the central service model is not all inclusive. (Oil Spill Prevention Account - State, Air Operating Permit Account - State, Flood Control Assistance Account - State, other funds)

CTS Central Services

Adjustments are made to reflect each agency’s anticipated share of charges for Microsoft 365 G5 licenses contracted for state agencies by the Consolidated Technology Services agency. This contract allows the state to achieve economies of scale and administrative efficiencies in the management of licenses. (Model Toxics Control Operating Acct - State, General Fund - State, Water Quality Permit Account - State, other funds)

DES Central Services

Adjustments are made to reflect each agency’s anticipated share of charges from the Department of Enterprise Services (DES) for campus rent, utilities, parking, and contracts; capital project surcharges; financing cost recovery; public and historic facilities; real estate services; risk management services; personnel service rates; the Perry Street child care center; small agency services; and the department’s enterprise applications. (Model Toxics Control Operating Acct - State, General Fund - State, Water Quality Permit Account - State, other funds)

OFM Central Services

Adjustments are made to reflect each agency’s anticipated share of charges for existing statewide financial applications, One Washington, and other central services provided by the Office of Financial Management. (Model Toxics Control Operating Acct - State, General Fund - State, Water Quality Permit Account - State, other funds)