PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY
[Order 97-30--Filed August 28, 1997, 3:07 p.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Biosolids recycling in general, disposal of biosolids in municipal solid waste landfills, labeling requirements for biosolids products, and biosolids permit fees.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 70.95J.020, directs the agency to adopt a rule to implement a biosolids management program. ESB 5590, authorizes the agency to set biosolids permit fees by rule (1997 legislature). RCW 70.95.255, directs the agency to work with the Departments of Health and Agriculture to establish labeling and notification requirements for sludge material sold commercially or given away to the public.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The agency is directed to adopt these rules by statute. A rule for biosolids management is needed to encourage beneficial use of biosolids while ensuring that standards are in place to protect human health and the environment. The state rule is intended to at least meet the minimum federal standards established under 40 CFR Parts 503, 501, and 122 and the Federal Clean Water Act. A federally compliant program will enable the state to secure delegation of federal biosolids program authority, thereby reducing the burden to the regulated community while delivering an equal or better program to the citizens of the state. Permit fees are needed to support the biosolids program.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The United States Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for implementing a federal biosolids program. Other state agencies, particularly the Departments of Health and Agriculture have at least a peripheral regulatory interest. Additionally, local jurisdictional health departments currently exercise a direct regulatory role under solid waste laws. All of these agencies have had direct representation on a rule development advisory committee.
Process for Developing New Rule: Consultative. Ecology has convened an advisory committee of about thirty-five representatives of affected stakeholder groups. The committee has participated in discussions related to rule elements and has reviewed and commented on drafts of the rule. In addition, a draft has been circulated to the public and comments have been considered.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. Biosolids rule development has been an ongoing process. This notice is being filed as an update to one originally filed with the Code Reviser's Office on July 5, 1994. In particular, the agency wanted to make public the addition of a permit fee element to the rule, as authorized under ESB 5590 by the 1997 state legislature. Formal public hearings are expected in late 1997 or early in 1998. Persons with questions and those wishing to participate in the hearings or to be informed of significant developments should contact Kyle Dorsey at the Department of Ecology to have their name placed on a list of interested persons. Mr. Dorsey can be reached at (360) 407-6107, FAX 407-7157, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 14, 1997
James J. Pendowski