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Learn more about DOE’s new Solid-Waste Handling Standards, effective Sept. 1

The Department of Ecology recently adopted long-in-the-making rule Solid-Waste Handling Standards. AGC, WACA and other groups worked to secure many improvements to earlier drafts of the rule. However, AGC members are encouraged to review the new rule and info provided by DOE.

The Department of Ecology recently adopted long-in-the-making rule Solid-Waste Handling Standards. AGC, WACA and other groups worked to secure many improvements to earlier drafts of the rule. However, AGC members are encouraged to review the new rule and info provided by DOE.

The following info is from DOE:

The Department of Ecology has adopted revisions to Chapter 173-350 WAC – Solid Waste Handling Standards, and we want to help you understand what the revised rule is about, how to learn more about it, and who to contact if you have questions.

This is the end of a process that has lasted for more than four years. We are especially grateful to the stakeholders who took time to participate in the many meetings we held, and to all who participated in the formal public comment process.

Director Maia Bellon signed the Rule-Making Order (CR-103P) adopting the revised rule on August 1, 2018, and we filed the rule with the Office of the Code Reviser on the same day. The revised rule will be effective on September 1, 2018. Please note that all new facilities must comply with the rule on and after that date. Existing facilities have up to 24 months to come into compliance with some requirements. It is important to check the compliance dates in the rule, as they vary with the kind of facility and its individual circumstance.

You may appeal this the adoption of this rule under procedures described in the Administrative Procedure Act (RCW 34.05), including those found in RCW 34.05.330.

Where to find information:


What is the purpose of the rule?

WAC 173-350-010 is adopted under the authority of chapter 70.95 RCW, Solid-Waste Management—Reduction and recycling, to protect public health; prevent land, air, and water pollution, and to conserve the state’s natural, economic and energy resources by:

  1. Setting minimum functional-performance standards for the proper handling and disposal of solid waste originating from residences, commercial, agricultural and industrial operations and other sources;
  2. Identifying those functions necessary to assure effective solid-waste handling programs at both the state and local levels;
  3. Following the priorities for the management of solid waste as set by the legislature in chapter 70.95 RCW, Solid Waste Management—Reduction and Recycling;
  4. Describing the responsibility of persons, municipalities, regional agencies, state and local government related to solid waste;
  5. Requiring solid-waste handling facilities to be located, designed, constructed, operated and closed in accordance with this chapter;
  6. Promoting regulatory consistency by establishing statewide minimum standards for solid-waste handling; and
  7. Encouraging the development and operation of waste-recycling facilities and activities needed to accomplish the management priority of waste recycling.


Who is subject to the requirements of the rule? 

The Solid Waste Handling Standards apply to facilities and activities that manage solid wastes as defined in WAC 173-350-100 or determined in WAC 173-350-021. Facilities handling solid waste must comply with the standards in all applicable sections of the rule. Some solid-waste management activities are not applicable under the rule (see WAC 173-350-020), and some activities qualify for exemptions to permitting. To determine whether a facility may qualify for a permit exemption or must obtain a permit, please consult the requirements of the rule applicable to the specific management activity.


What in the rule has changed?

Experience implementing the rule, and input from stakeholders, identified many areas needing improvement. This rulemaking was a comprehensive amendment of the Solid Waste Handling Standards in Chapter 173-350 WAC (changes to sections 220, 225 and 250 were only for the purposes of clarification and consistency with other sections of the rule). Interested parties should consult the final rule language and the Concise Explanatory Statement for more information.

In summary, we:

  • standardized language and construction to improve usability and consistency across the rule.
  • updated and added definitions.
  • revised record keeping and reporting requirements.
  • added a new section to improve user ability to identify solid wastes apart from commodities, and support material recovery and recycling activities while protecting public health and the environment.
  • adopted criteria under the Model Toxics Control Act to distinguish between clean and contaminated soils and dredged material, and clarified management requirements.
  • placed exemption criteria, in sections with permit requirements, in tables that are easier to understand.
  • relocated content between two sections dealing with recycling facilities and intermediate solid waste handling facilities (now addresses transfer stations and drop box facilities), so that material recovery facilities are aligned with recycling activities.
  • revised requirements for handling of moderate risk waste.
  • repealed one section on inert waste and consolidated requirements in the landfill disposal of inert waste section
  • revised standards for the temporary storage of wastes in piles.
  • revised requirements for waste tire storage, and split one section on waste tire storage and transportation, into two sections.
  • revised requirements for limited purpose landfills.
  • revised requirements for groundwater monitoring at surface impoundments and limited purpose landfills.
  • revised requirements for surface impoundments and tanks.
  • revised financial assurance criteria.
  • revised requirements for permitting.
  • revised criteria for facilities undergoing remedial action

The Dep’t. of Ecology made changes other than strictly editorial, from the proposed rule to the adopted rule. For a summary of those changes, please refer to the attachment.  For details the changes, please refer to the Concise Explanatory Statement at


How can you learn more about this rulemaking, or get technical assistance to comply with the rule?

  • Be sure to join our Solid-Waste Handling Standards ListServ at Taking this step is important if you have an interest in solid waste management regulations in Washington. If you received this message directly from the ListServ, you are already a member.
  • The Solid-Waste Management Program is sponsoring a Solid-Waste Conference on September 24-25 in Leavenworth[1]. The agenda includes an overview of changes to the rule.
  • We will also be developing guidance and holding training events in the coming months. We will notify stakeholders through the Solid-Waste Handling Standards listserv about these training events and updates to guidance. We will also post events on our web pages.
  • Local jurisdictional health authorities lead the permitting and enforcement of solid-waste handling standards. If you are a facility manager or operator, or responsible for some aspect(s) of compliance or permitting at a solid waste handling facility, the local jurisdictional health authority is your first point of contact. Ecology will be working with local health staff to educate them on the new requirements of the rule.
  • You can also contact the facility specialist in the regional office of the Department of Ecology:

Central Regional Office
1250 West Alder Street, Union Gap WA  98903-0009
Kimberly Sarver

Eastern Regional Office
4601 N. Monroe, Spokane WA  99205-1295
Marni Solheim

Northwest Regional Office
3190 160th Ave. SE, Bellevue WA  98008-5452
Dawn Marie Maurer

Southwest Regional Office
300 Desmond Dr SE, Olympia WA  98503
PO Box 7775, Olympia, WA 98504-7775
Derek Rocket


For questions about the rulemaking process, or if you cannot reach
a regional facility specialist, contact
Kyle Dorsey.

300 Desmond Dr SE, Olympia WA  98503
PO Box 47600, Olympia WA  98504-7600]




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