Public Workshops and Hearings to Accept Comments on the
Revised Construction Stormwater General Permit
Purpose of the Construction Stormwater General Permit: Under federal and state water quality law (Federal Clean Water Act and State Water Pollution Control Act); a permit is required for the discharge of wastewater, including stormwater. The proposed general permit addresses these legal requirements and controls the discharge of pollutants to protect surface water and ground water quality in Washington state under the authority of RCW 90.48.260. The construction stormwater general permit implements the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Phase I and II Stormwater Rule, which regulates stormwater runoff from small and large construction activities. The permit is required for construction activities, which includes clearing, grading and excavation that results in the disturbance of one acre or more total land area and discharge of stormwater to surface waters of the state. The permit is also required for construction activities that involve the disturbance of less than one acre that is a part of a larger common plan of development or sale, if the larger common plan of development or sale will result in the disturbance of one acre or more and discharge stormwater to surface waters of the state.
A general permit is like an individual wastewater discharge permit except that it addresses a group of facilities as a whole and implements the Federal Clean Water Act and State Water Pollution Control Act in a single permit. Construction sites that receive coverage under the general permit are required to implement erosion and sediment control "best management practices" to protect water quality and comply with the terms and conditions of the permit. Currently, 996 construction sites are covered under the construction stormwater general permit.
Applying for the Construction Stormwater General Permit: Sites covered under the existing construction stormwater general permit, who reapplied for permit coverage, will be covered under the proposed general permit unless notified by ecology. New or unpermitted construction sites may obtain coverage under the general permit by submitting a complete permit application to Ecology and satisfying all applicable public notice and State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) requirements (WAC 173-226-200). The permit application is available online at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/stormwater/construction.
Requesting Copies of the Permit: Beginning July 6, 2005, you can request copies of the proposed draft general permit and fact sheet, or you can download copies from the internet http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/stormwater/construction; or by contacting Jeff Killelea, Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600, phone (360) 407-6127, fax (360) 407-6426, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitting Written and Oral Comments: Ecology will accept written and oral comments on the draft construction stormwater general permit and fact sheet. Comments should reference specific text when possible. Comments may address the following:
• Technical issues,
• Accuracy and completeness of information,
• The scope of facilities proposed for coverage,
• Adequacy of environmental protection and permit conditions, or
• Any other concern that would result from issuance of the revised permit.
Submit written comments to Jeff Killelea, Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600.
Written comments must be postmarked no later than midnight, August 26, 2005. Oral comments can be made by attending and testifying at the public hearings.
Public Workshops/Hearings: The public workshops and hearings on the draft general permit will be held in six locations in August 2005. The purpose of the workshops is to explain the general permit, what has changed from the previous permit, answer questions, and facilitate meaningful testimony during the hearing. The purpose of the hearings is to provide an opportunity for people to give formal oral testimony and comments on the proposed permit. Six public workshops and hearings will be held as follows:
On August 9, 2005, at 2:00 p.m., at the Country Village Courtyard Hall, 720 238th Street S.E., Suite H, Bothell, WA, (425) 402-9818, driving directions http://www.countryvillagebothell.com/Directions.htm; on August 10, 2005, at 2:00 p.m., at the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce, Skagit Station Community Meeting Room, 105 East Kincaid Street, Suite 101, Mt. Vernon, WA, (360) 428-8547; on August 11, 2005, at 2:00 p.m., at the Water Resources Education Center, 4600 S.E. Columbia Way, Vancouver, WA, (360) 696-8478, driving directions http://www.ci.vancouver.wa.us/watercenter/wrec/directions.htm; on August 15, 2005, at 2:00 p.m., at the Northwest Museum of Arts, 2316 West First Avenue, Spokane, WA, (509) 393-5324, driving directions http://www.northwestmuseum.org/northwestmuseum/sub.aspx?id=306; on August 16, 2005, at 2:00 p.m., at the Red Lion Hotel Richland, Hanford House, 802 Washington Way, Richland, WA, (509) 946-7611, driving directions http://www.redlion.com/WHC/hotels/ShowHotel.asp?ID=167; and on August 17, 2005, at 2:00 p.m., at the King Oscars Hotel and Conference Center, 8820 South Hosmer, Tacoma, WA, (253) 539-1153 ext. 357, driving directions http://www.koscar.net/conv_ctr/index.html#.
All public workshops and hearings will begin at 2:00 p.m. and conclude as soon as public testimony is completed.
Issuing the Final Construction Stormwater General Permit: The final permit will be issued after ecology receives and considers all public comments. If public comments represent a substantial departure from the scope or conditions in the original draft permit, another public notice of draft and public comment period may ensue.
Ecology expects to issue the general permit on November 16, 2005. It will be effective thirty days later. When issued, a copy of the notice of issuance and ecology's responses to the comments will be sent to all persons who submitted written comment or gave public testimony.
If you have special accommodation needs or require a copy of the permit and fact sheet in an alternative format, please contact Jeff Killelea at (360) 407-6127. If you are a person with a speech or hearing impairment, call 711 or (800) 833-6388 for TTY.