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Click here to learn more about the Environmental Contaminants Program in Washington State.

The use, disposal, and accidental releases of contaminants can have unintended consequences for fish, wildlife, and their habitats. Fish and wildlife serve as indicators of our environment’s health and, ultimately, our own.

Protecting fish and wildlife from pollution is an important part of our efforts to conserve the natural resources of Washington State. Contaminants specialists in our Lacey and Spokane offices work on the following issues:

  • Water Quality and Stormwater Runoff

    We are doing research to understand the impacts of contaminants on aquatic species in the Pacific Northwest. Our research is resulting in the implementation of solutions and greater public awareness.

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  • Investigations and Technical Assistance

    Our contaminants specialists provide technical support to Service-owned fish hatcheries and national wildlife refuges in Washington. Our work to identify pollution threats results in cleaner and safer conditions for the fish and wildlife on federal lands. We also assist other federal agencies as well as state and local governments and non-governmental organizations.

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  • Oil Spill Response

    Washington is 5th in the country for oil refining capacity, with oil traveling throughout the state and along coastal and inland waterways via pipeline, rail, and marine vessel. From 1995-2008, there were 119 oil spills that contaminated Washington waterways with 340,268 gallons of oil. When an oil spill occurs, our contaminants specialists are there to help with the response effort and document the impacts to fish and wildlife so that restorative action can be taken.

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    Shared Consequences: The Environment and Us Story Map

  • Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR)

    NRDAR is a federal regulation that holds polluters accountable for injuries to fish and wildlife and their habitats. Our contaminants specialists use this legal tool to restore natural resources to the condition they would have been had the release of contaminants not occurred.  

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    Story Map: Where We Work

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