WSR 05-23-068


[ Filed November 15, 2005, 10:52 a.m. ]

Department of Ecology to Develop a General Permit for

Aquatic Weed Control in Irrigation Systems

     The Washington State Department of Ecology has made a preliminary determination to reissue a state waste discharge general permit for irrigation systems. The permit would cover entities that use pesticides to control aquatic weeds in irrigation systems. A final permit is expected in January 2007. The Department of Ecology originally issued a general permit in 2002 that will expire in May 2007.

     Due to a recent court decision (Fairhurst v. Hagener), as well as a proposed Environmental Protection Agency rule, the Department of Ecology is planning to issue this permit under state permitting authority. The 2002 permit was issued under both state and federal NPDES authority.

     The permit provides coverage for irrigation districts and irrigation water suppliers who apply aquatic herbicides in irrigation canals or ditches. Currently, sixteen irrigation districts and irrigation water suppliers are covered by the permit.

     We expect to complete the draft version of the permit and release it for public comment by October 2006. The proposed timeline for drafting the permit is:

October 2006 Public notice of draft permit
November 2006 Public hearings and end of the public comment period
January 2007 Issue final permit

     We intend to form an advisory group to assist in the development of the permit and ask those interested in participating to contact Andrew Kolosseus at (360) 407-7543.

     The Department of Ecology will keep a mailing list to inform the public of significant stages in the development of the permit, including notices of the draft permit, public hearings, and issuance of the permit. Information will also be posted on the Department of Ecology's web page at

     To join the mailing list, to comment on the appropriateness of general permits instead of individual permits, or to provide information on potential dischargers, please contact Andrew Kolosseus, Washington State Department of Ecology, Water Quality Program, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600, (360) 407-7543.