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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 04, 2012
Ecology Director’s statement regarding Supreme Court ruling on environmental cleanup funding source

This news release, regarding a case argued by the Washington State Attorney General's Office, was distributed by the Department of Ecology

OLYMPIA –Washington Department of Ecology Director Ted Sturdevant issued the following statement today on a state Supreme Court ruling upholding a voter-approved funding source for environmental protection and cleanups in Washington state.

Sturdevant said:

"We are pleased that the Supreme Court has upheld a law that Washington voters passed more than two decades ago to make sure that we and future generations have a permanent funding source to clean up and prevent toxic pollution.

“The Hazardous Substance Tax is the key to the success of the voter-approved Model Toxics Control Act. For more than 20 years, this tax has been doing exactly what the voters of our state intended – cleaned up old toxic messes and prevented many new ones in our air and water and land. This is good for families, communities and businesses."

Today's ruling by the Supreme Court upholds an earlier decision by King County Superior Court finding that the voter-approved tax is constitutional.

In 1988, Washington voters passed Initiative 97, the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA), which authorized funding for a broad range of state and local toxic cleanup, management and prevention purposes and anticipated the need to respond to new threats from toxic materials. To do this work, the voters authorized a tax on hazardous materials including petroleum products, pesticides, and some chemicals.

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Media Contacts:

Dave Workman, Ecology communication and education director, 360-407-7004

Laura Watson, Assistant Attorney General, 360-586-4614

For more information:

Washington’s Hazardous Substance Tax (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/tcp/tax/2011/hazsubstancetax.html)

Focus sheet on MTCA and Hazardous Substance Tax (https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/publications/1101005.pdf)

MTCA Annual Reports (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/tcp/MTCA_AnnualReport/annualRpt.html)

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