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Recommendation: 29

Status: Underway

Accelerate the implementation of the ban on polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in state-purchased products and make information available online for other purchasers.


Action 1

The Washington Department of Enterprise Services should carry out the 2014 ban on PCBs in products purchased by the State. This 2014 law requires suppliers to publicly provide information on PCBs to encourage purchasing clean products.

Implementation Details

The Department of Enterprise Services immediately should accelerate implementation of the ban on PCBs in state-purchased products and make information about PCB levels in those products and packaging available online to the public so other buyers can make informed decisions.

Washington State adopted a procurement law in 2014 that states: “No agency may knowingly purchase products or products in packaging containing polychlorinated biphenyls above the practical quantification limit except when it is not cost-effective or technically feasible to do so” (Revised Code of Washington 39.26.280). Implementation of this law should be accelerated to reduce PCBs entering Puget Sound from products such as paints, hatchery fish feed, adhesives, electrical equipment, caulking, paper products, and lubricants. Product suppliers to the State will provide information about PCBs in their products and this information can be shared with other purchasers that want to avoid products containing PCBs.

Recent Progress

The Department of Enterprise Services took several actions to support this recommendation, including producing a documentary on PCBs and the food web, publishing a purchasing preference policy and training state agencies on its use, and updating its contracts.

More details may be found in the progress reports in the resources library.