WSR 04-13-126

DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY


[ Filed June 22, 2004, 11:33 a.m. ]


PUBLIC NOTICE OF INTENT TO ISSUE GENERAL MUNICIPAL STORMWATER NPDES PERMITS


Introduction: Federal and state water quality regulations establish national pollutant discharge elimination system (NPDES) and waste discharge general permit requirements for stormwater discharges from certain industries, construction sites, and municipalities. In general, stormwater is the rainfall that flows overland into a drainage system and discharges into a surface water body or a constructed infiltration facility. Stormwater can transport pollutants and disturb flow regimes in streams, wetlands and other water bodies. Municipal stormwater permits regulate discharges from publicly-owned ditches, pipes and other conveyances.

These permits are being developed to meet the requirements of chapter 90.48 RCW as amended, and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) (Title 33 United States Code, Section 1251 et seq.) as amended. These permits will comply with the regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) 40, Section 122 and Title 173 WAC.

In accordance with Washington's waste discharge general permit regulation, WAC 173-226-130, the purpose of this announcement is to:

(1) Provide notice of a preliminary determination to develop general permits.

(2) Request comments as to whether a general permit or individual permits would be more appropriate for such discharges.

(3) Provide an opportunity for interested or potentially affected parties to submit information on dischargers and discharges proposed to be covered under the permit as well as any other relevant information.

This notice covers the following three proposed permits:

1. Phase I General Permit Renewal: This permit is a renewal of the NPDES municipal stormwater general permits for "Phase I" municipalities to regulate discharges for urban areas in Seattle, Tacoma and unincorporated King, Pierce, Snohomish and Clark counties. Ecology is proposing to combine the three existing general permits for the Island/Snohomish, Cedar/Green, and South Puget Sound water quality management areas into a single general permit.

These permits will cover discharges from separate storm sewers owned or operated by the above named municipalities (municipal separate storm systems or "MS4s"). Public comments may be submitted on the characteristics of municipal storm sewer discharges including effluent quantity, quality and any receiving water impacts. These comments can relate to an individual discharger, or be representative of the category as a whole. Any other relevant information may also be submitted.

Phase I Permit Reissuance Timeline:

A preliminary draft permit will be published for public comment in the fall of 2004.

The target for the final draft, public hearings and requesting formal public comments is the spring of 2005.

The target date for issuing the permit is the spring of 2005.

Documents Available for Review: The existing Phase I municipal stormwater permits, fact sheet and clarification of permit conditions are available at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/stormwater/municipal/reissue.html#current_permits.

Annual reports submitted under the existing permits are available at the same link listed above.

Public Comment/Interested Parties: You may send your written comments and get on the mailing list for the Phase I permit by contacting Ann Wessel, Water Quality Program, Washington Department of Ecology, e-mail awes461@ecy.wa.gov, P.O. Box 47696, Olympia, WA 98504-7696, (360) 407-6457.

2. Phase II General Permit for Western Washington: The federal Clean Water Act establishes a two-part system for implementing municipal stormwater permits. Larger and medium-sized municipalities were covered in Phase I; smaller jurisdictions were addressed later under Phase II. In 2000, EPA finalized NPDES Phase II rules regulating municipally-owned separate storm sewer systems within census-defined urban areas. These rules require the Department of Ecology to expand its stormwater program by issuing permits to additional operators of MS4s that discharge to surface waters.

The Department of Ecology proposes to issue separate general permits for western and eastern Washington. This notice announces only the western Washington permit due to a delay for the eastern Washington permit process pending completion of the department's stormwater management manual for eastern Washington. The Phase II general permit for western Washington applies to approximately seventy-five jurisdictions located within the 2000 census-defined urban areas. Another five western Washington cities will be evaluated using designation criteria for inclusion in the Phase II process.

The Phase II federal regulations establish minimum requirements for the scope of the permits and content of the related stormwater management program to be developed by each permittee. This rule is posted at http://cfpub1.epa.gov/npdes/regresult.cfm?program_id=6&view=all&type=1.

Public comments may be submitted on the characteristics of municipal storm sewer discharges including effluent quantity, quality and any receiving water impacts. These comments can relate to an individual discharger, or be representative of the category as a whole. Any other relevant information may also be submitted.

Phase II Western Washington General Permit Timeline:

A preliminary draft permit will be published for public comment in the fall of 2004.

The target for the final draft, public hearings and requesting formal public comments is the spring of 2005.

The target date for issuing the permit is the spring of 2005.

Documents Available for Review: More information about the Phase II permit program, the communities that must apply for the Phase II permit and the EPA Phase II regulations is at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/stormwater/phase_2/index.html.

Public Comment/Interested Parties: You may send your written comments and get on the mailing list for the western Washington Phase II permit by contacting Janice Sedlak, Water Quality Program, Department of Ecology, e-mail jsed461@ecy.wa.gov, P.O. Box 47696, Olympia, WA 98504-7696, (360) 407-6470.

3. Statewide Stormwater Permit for the Washington Department of Transportation: The Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is required by state and federal regulations to have a stormwater permit in areas covered by Phase I and Phase II of the municipal stormwater permit program. WSDOT has agreed to a statewide permit to avoid having a piecemeal stormwater program and to promote better management of stormwater runoff from all state highways. The permit will cover stormwater runoff from state highways, rest areas, weigh stations, scenic view points, park and ride lots, ferry terminals, and maintenance facilities. This permit will replace WSDOT's current coverage under the current Phase I general permits.

WSDOT Permit Timeline:

Ecology will scope the issues for this permit early in the summer of 2004.

Ecology expects to publish a draft of this permit and the accompanying WSDOT Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) for public comment early in 2005.

The target date for issuing this permit and SWMP is summer of 2005.

Documents Available for Review: WSDOT submitted an application to ecology in March 2003. The application is posted on the WSDOT webpage at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/environment/wqec/docs/MS4NPDESSWPermitApplication.pdf.

The stormwater 2003 NPDES progress report from WSDOT is posted at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/environment/wqec/docs/2002NPDESProgressReport.pdf.

WSDOT's revised highway runoff manual is posted at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/environment/wqec/HRMRevision.htm.

Public Comment/Interested Parties: You may send your written comments and get on the mailing list for the statewide stormwater permit for WSDOT by contacting Annie Szvetecz, Water Quality Program, Department of Ecology, e-mail aszv461@ecy.wa.gov, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600, phone (360) 407-6467.

Public Involvement for all Permits: This is a preliminary notice of ecology's intent to reissue a general municipal stormwater permit. There will be further opportunities to supply information, comments, or testimony. If you have any information or comments based on this public notice, please send them to the Department of Ecology no later than August 31, 2004.

For Further Information about all Three Permits: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/stormwater/index.html or contact Department of Ecology, Water Quality Program, (360) 407-6600, and you will be referred to the appropriate person.

If you have special accommodation needs or require this document in an alternative format, please contact the Department of Ecology's Diversity Program at (360) 407-6020. If you are a person with a speech or hearing impairment, call 711 or 800-833-6388 for TTY.

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