WSR 02-19-109

DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY


[ Filed September 18, 2002, 10:28 a.m. ]


Ecology to Develop Stormwater General Permit for 1-5 Acre Construction Sites


The Washington State Department of Ecology (ecology) is planning to develop NPDES and state waste discharge general permit coverage for stormwater discharges associated with 1-5 acre small construction activities. It has not yet been determined if this coverage will be provided by a separate general permit, or if it will be included in the reissued general permit for stormwater discharges associated with construction activities for sites larger than 5 acres. The development of 1-5 acre general permit coverage is required by EPA's Phase II rule that requires all operators of small construction activity to obtain an NPDES permit before discharging stormwater runoff to a municipal separate storm sewer system or waters of the United States. Small construction activity is defined as land disturbance that affects 1-5 acres of land. Land disturbance refers to activities that expose soil, such as clearing, grading and excavating.

Ecology intends to develop permit coverage for 1-5 acre sites with input from the Construction Stormwater Advisory Committee that was formed to assist in the reissuance of the Phase I Construction Stormwater General Permit for sites larger than 5 acres. The advisory committee includes representatives from the construction industry, environmental organizations, cities, counties and other government agencies.

Ecology intends to complete and release for public comment a draft 1-5 Acre Small Construction Stormwater General Permit or Construction Stormwater General Permit for Sites Larger than 1 Acre by February 28, 2003. The release of the draft permit will initiate the beginning of the public comment period, during which time written comments on the permit will be accepted. Several public workshops and hearings will take place around the state during April 2003. Ecology plans to issue the final general permit and fact sheet in June 2003.

In accordance with WAC 173-226-130(1), ecology is hereby requesting comments on whether a general permit is appropriate for the proposed category of dischargers or whether individual permits are necessary. Ecology is also seeking information on small construction stormwater dischargers from any interested or potentially affected party including: (1) Documented information on the characteristics of the discharge including effluent quantity, quality, and any receiving water impacts; information may be from an individual facility or be representative of the category as a whole, and (2) any other relevant information. Written comments, information or requests to be added to the 1-5 Acre Small Construction General Permit mailing list to receive information and notices related to the development of the general permit should be directed to Department of Ecology, Attn: Jeff Killelea, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600.

Additional information on the development of permit coverage for 1-5 acre construction sites will be posted on an ecology web page, as it becomes available: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/stormwater/contruction/.

Questions or comments on the proposed general permit coverage for 1-5 acre construction sites should be directed to Jeff Killelea at (360) 407-6127, by e-mail at jkil461@ecy.wa.gov, or may be mailed to Department of Ecology, Attn: Jeff Killelea, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office