Washington State Department of Ecology

At Ecology, we’re proud to help you protect Washington’s environment and quality of life. Our mission is to protect, preserve and enhance Washington’s environment, and to promote the wise management of our air, land and water for the benefit of current and future generations.

Our Goals

  • Protect and restore land, air and water
  • Prevent pollution
  • Promote healthy communities and natural resources
  • Deliver efficient and effective services

We’re scientists, engineers, environmental planners and specialists, pollution prevention specialists, inspectors, dam safety experts, hydrogeologists, chemists, emergency responders, technology innovators, fiscal officers, educators, public involvement specialists, and workforce development specialists. We live in Washington. Some of us are from farm families; others are from towns and cities. One thing we all share is that we care deeply about our state’s quality of life and the public resources entrusted to our care and protection.

What We Do

  • Provide technical support to businesses, landowners, communities and others, to help them reduce and safely manage hazardous and solid waste and conserve finite water supplies.
  • Manage Washington’s water supplies – assuring enough water for salmon, communities and farms.
  • Regulate and inspect major shipments and transfers of oil and other hazardous materials in our state, respond 24/7 to oil and hazardous materials spills, and oversee oil spill preparedness of large handlers of oil and hazardous materials.
  • Measure, record and collect data on the health of our air, water and land.
  • Manage millions of dollars in grants to local communities, paying for environmental projects across the state.
  • Train and support the Washington Conservation Corps – our state’s job training program for young adults who work year-round on conservation and emergency response projects to protect and improve our environment and assist the public after natural disasters.
  • Regulate the federal cleanup of the Hanford nuclear reservation, making sure the job is done right and isn’t sidetracked by other national priorities.
  • Work with citizens, businesses and local governments to develop and carry out environmental permits that keep Washington’s water, air and soils safe from industrial, commercial and municipal activities in our state.
  • Carry out several federal laws that set general nationwide standards for clean air, water, land and waste management.
  • If someone harms the environment, we enforce state and federal environmental laws.
  • Engage the public in state environmental protection and cleanup decisions; we ask our public customers to evaluate our work; and we collaborate with many local partners to give Washington residents the information they need to protect our state’s environment, human health and quality of life.
  • Provide core-business support to Ecology’s environmental work by carefully managing budget and expenditures, keeping sound financial controls over public funds, recruiting and training a skilled workforce, and using technology, facilities and equipment to carry out our mission.