WSR 05-23-136

DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY


[ Filed November 22, 2005, 8:31 a.m. ]


PUBLIC NOTICE

Public Workshops and Hearings to Accept Comments on the Aquatic Plant and Algae Management General Permit



The Department of Ecology (ecology) is proposing to issue a general permit to cover aquatic plant and algae management activities in surface waters of the state. This permit replaces and revokes the aquatic nuisance plant and algae control NPDES permit that expires on July 5, 2007, and portions of the aquatic noxious weed control NPDES permit that expires on June 14, 2007. Ecology is proposing to issue the final permit soon after the comment period ends. The title of the revised permit is "Aquatic Plant and Algae Management State Waste Discharge General Permit."

The draft permit and fact sheet are available for review and public comment from December 7, 2005, to January 20, 2006. Ecology will host three informational workshops and public hearings on its proposed permit. The public is encouraged to give written comments during the public comment period or oral comments at the public hearings.

Purpose of the General Permit: The proposed general permit covers the discharge of products used to control aquatic plants and algae to waters of Washington state. Under the Washington State Water Pollution Control Act, a permit is required for the discharge of pollutants which may alter the biological or chemical characteristics of a water body. The proposed permit addresses these legal requirements and regulates the discharge of pollutants to protect surface water quality in Washington state.

A general permit is issued in place of a series of individual permits when the permitted activities are similar. Individual activities that receive coverage under the general permit are required to comply with the terms and conditions of the permit.

Requesting Copies of the Permit: You can request copies of the proposed permit and fact sheet by contacting Kelly McLain, Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600, phone (360) 407-6938, fax (360) 407-6426, e-mail kelm461@ecy.wa.gov.

The proposed permit and fact sheet are also available online at www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/permits/pesticides/index.html.

Submitting Written and Oral Comments: Ecology will accept written and oral comments on the draft aquatic plant and algae management 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 activities proposed for coverage,
Adequacy of environmental protection and permit conditions, or
Any other concern that would result from issuance of the new permit.
Please submit written comments to Kelly McLain, Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600, phone (360) 407-6938, fax (360) 407-6426, e-mail kelm461@ecy.wa.gov.

Written, e-mailed and faxed comments must be received no later than 5 p.m., Friday, January 20, 2006. Oral comments can be made by attending and testifying at the public hearings.

Public Workshops/Hearings: The workshops begin at the times listed below. The hearings will begin when the workshop ends. The purpose of the workshops is to explain the general permit, what has changed from the previous permits, and answer questions. The purpose of the hearings is to provide an opportunity for people to give formal comments on the proposed permit.

The public workshops and hearings on the draft general permit are Centralia: Monday, January 9, 2006 (6 p.m.), Centralia College, Washington Hall Room 109, 600 West Locust, Centralia, WA 98531; Spokane: Tuesday, January 10, 2006 (5 p.m.), Shadle Library, West 2111 Wellesley Avenue, Spokane, WA 99205; and Lynnwood: Thursday, January 12, 2006 (6 p.m.), Edmonds Community College, President's Board Room, 20000 68th Avenue West, Lynnwood, WA 98036.

Issuing the Final Aquatic Plant and Algae Management General Permit: Ecology will issue the final permit after it considers all public comments. Ecology expects to issue the general permit soon after the end of the public comment period. It will be effective thirty days later. When ecology issues the permit, it will send a response to everyone who commented.

What would be covered by the permit? This general permit covers aquatic plant and algae management activities that discharge chemicals and other aquatic plant and algae control products into surface waters of the state of Washington. These products include herbicides, algaecides, adjuvants, marker dyes, barley straw, shading products, biological water clarifiers or nutrient inactivation products. Shoreline emergent vegetation control or eradication activities are also included where chemicals may enter the water. There are three different types of projects covered under this permit: Eradication, control, or nutrient inactivation.

Eradication Projects: This covers the use of chemicals to attempt to eradicate any of the following:

1. Noxious weeds as identified in chapter 16-750 WAC (web site address http://www.nwcb.wa.gov/weed_list/weed_listhome.html);

2. Plants listed on the quarantine list as identified in chapter 16-752 WAC (web site address http://www.nwcb.wa.gov/weed_list/weed_listhome.html); and

3. Newly discovered nonnative and potentially invasive plants not listed on the above lists, as determined by the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board or ecology.

Control Projects: This covers activities in aquatic settings to control:

1. Submersed native plants;

2. Noxious submersed weeds as identified in chapter 16-750 WAC (http://www.leg.wa.gov/WAC/index.cfm?fuseaction=chapterdigest&chapter=16-750);

3. Submersed plants listed on the Washington State Department of Agriculture's quarantine list as identified in chapter 16-752 WAC (http://www.nwcb.wa.gov/weed_laws/16-752.pdf);

4. Floating-leaved and emergent noxious weed and quarantine-listed weeds;

5. Roadside and ditchbank plants; and

6. Filamentous algae, cyanobacteria, and any other phytoplankton species that have the potential to affect human or environmental health.

Nutrient Inactivation Projects: Alum (aluminum sulfate or sodium aluminate) and calcium hydroxide/carbon dioxide are allowed for the inactivation of phosphorus, either as partial water body or whole water body treatment.

If you have special accommodation needs or require a copy of the permit and fact sheet in an alternative format, please contact Kelly McLain at (360) 407-6938. If you are a person with a speech or hearing impairment, call 711 or 800-833-6388 for TTY.