WSR 08-08-118

DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY


[ Filed April 2, 2008, 10:59 a.m. ]


NOTICE OF SECOND PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD


DRAFT WATER QUALITY ASSESSMENT

INCLUDING

THE SECTION 303(d) LIST, AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC REVIEW



The water quality program of the department of ecology (ecology) is seeking additional public comment on the draft Assessment of Water Quality for the Clean Water Act Sections 303(d) and 305(b) Integrated Report. Ecology has compiled and assessed water quality data as of December 2006 on a statewide basis in order to create a picture of water quality in Washington's waters. The assessment fulfills reporting requirements of the Clean Water Act, including the list of known polluted waters in the state referred to as the Section 303(d) list, and a status of water quality in the state required by Section 305(b). Ecology is conducting a second public review on the water quality assessment from April 16 through April 30, 2008. The public is asked to comment on new listing decisions within the tissue and water media types of the draft assessment.

For information on updates made as a part of the second public review, consult the web site at www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/303d/2008/index.html.

The assessment is presented as a package of internet tools that includes interactive maps and lists that allow the user to customize and sort an area of interest by geographic location, pollutant parameter, degree of concern, and other factors. The assessment is organized by water bodies into different categories characterized by the attainment of designated uses. There are five major categories, ranging from clean to polluted.

Ecology encourages the public to review waters that they are familiar with and provide comments on where they see problems or disagree with the assessment results. If the commenter disagrees with the assessment results, an explanation should be provided, and additional information submitted to support the finding.

Comments received during the initial public comment period that ended March 21 of this year need not be resubmitted. Those comments will be considered along with all new comments received during this second comment period.

The draft assessment can be found at www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/303d/index.html. The deadline for public comments is 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 30, 2008. Please submit comments by e-mail or in writing to the address below.

What Happens after the Public Review? Ecology will review all comments and make changes to the preliminary list of categories as appropriate. After that, the final assessment will be submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for review. EPA has the authority to approve or reject Category 5 listed waters which is the equivalent of the Section 303(d) list. Each of the water bodies on the Category 5 list will need water quality improvement reports developed, also known as a total maximum daily loads or TMDLs.

How do I Learn More? To learn more about the draft water quality assessment of Washington's waters, visit our web site at www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/303d/2008/index.html.

To submit new comments or ask any other question about this process, please contact Ken Koch, Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600, e-mail 303d@ecy.wa.gov, phone (360) 407-6782.

April 2, 2008

Kelly Susewind, P.E., P.G.

Interim Water Quality Program Manager

Washington State Code Reviser's Office