WSR 07-21-117

DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY


[ Filed October 22, 2007, 3:47 p.m. ]


PUBLIC NOTICE

Public Workshops and Hearings to Accept Comments on the General Permit for Aquatic Weed Control in Irrigation Systems



The department of ecology is proposing to reissue a general permit to cover pesticide use in irrigation systems. The department of ecology has revised the permit and is proposing to reissue the permit in February 2008. The revised permit is called the "Irrigation System Aquatic Weed Control National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and State Waste Discharge General Permit."

The draft permit and fact sheet are available for review and public comment from November 7, 2007, to January 11, 2008. The department of ecology will host two 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 Permit: The permit covers the discharge of pesticides used in irrigation systems in Washington state to control plant and algae growth. Under the Washington State Water Pollution Control Act, a permit is required to discharge pollutants that 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 water quality in Washington.

Ecology issues a general permit in place of a series of individual permits for similar permitted activities. Individual activities that receive coverage under the general permit must comply with the terms and conditions of the permit.

Applying for a Permit: Irrigation districts that completed a permit application in October 2006 through January 2007 will be covered under the proposed permit. The following entities applied for permit coverage:

1. Cascade Irrigation District

2. Columbia Irrigation District

3. East Columbia Basin Irrigation District

4. Ellensburg Water Company

5. Kennewick Irrigation District

6. Kittitas Reclamation District

7. Naches-Selah Irrigation District

8. Quincy-Columbia Basin Irrigation District

9. Roza Irrigation District

10. Selah-Moxee Irrigation District

11. South Columbia Basin Irrigation District

12. Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District

13. Union Gap Irrigation District

14. Wenatchee Reclamation District

15. Westside Irrigating Company

16. Yakima-Tieton Irrigation District

New or currently nonpermitted facilities may obtain coverage under the permit by submitting a complete permit application to the department of ecology.

Requesting Copies of the Permit: You can request copies of the proposed permit and fact sheet by contacting Andrew Kolosseus, Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600, phone (360) 407-7543, fax (360) 407-6426, e-mail akol461@ecy.wa.gov.

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

Submitting Written and Oral Comments: The department of ecology will accept written and oral comments on the draft 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.
Please submit written comments to Andrew Kolosseus, Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600, phone (360) 407-7543, fax (360) 407-6426, e-mail akol461@ecy.wa.gov.

Ecology must receive written, e-mailed, and faxed comments no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, January 11, 2008. The public can make oral comments by testifying at the public hearings.

Public Workshops/Hearings: The workshops begin at 6:30 p.m. 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 permit, 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 permit are:

Kennewick: December 10, 2007 at 6:30 p.m., at the Benton PUD Auditorium, 2721 West 10th Avenue (corner of Hwy 395 and 10th Avenue), Kennewick, WA.

Ellensburg: December 11, 2007 at 6:30 p.m., at the Hal Holmes Center, 209 North Ruby Street, Ellensburg, WA.

Issuing the Final 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 on the draft permit.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office