Public Hearing and Comment Period to Accept Comments on the Department of Ecology's Plan to Reissue the Industrial Stormwater General Permit
Reissuing the Industrial Stormwater General Permit: The industrial stormwater NPDES and state waste discharge general permit, issued by the Washington state department of ecology (ecology) on August 21, 2002, and reissued on August 15, 2007, expired on May 31, 2008. Ecology has recently initiated a collaborative external advisory committee process to develop a simpler and more effective general permit. The committee will also address a broad range of related issues, including stormwater research and development, education and outreach, compliance inspections and enforcement. More information on the external advisory committee process is available at ecology's web site at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/stormwater/industrial/index.html. In the mean time, ecology proposes to reissue the expired general permit, without changes, with an expiration date of April 30, 2009. The draft industrial stormwater general permit and fact sheet are available for review and public comment from August 6, 2008, through September 12, 2008. Ecology will host an informational workshop and public hearing on its proposal to reissue the industrial stormwater general permit. Ecology will accept written comments on the draft permit and fact sheet or oral comments can be given at the public hearing.
Purpose of the Industrial Stormwater General Permit: The general permit provides coverage for industries located in Washington state that discharge stormwater associated with industrial activities. Under federal and state water quality law (Federal Clean Water Act and State Water Pollution Control Act); a permit is required for the discharge of wastewater. A discharge of stormwater associated with industrial activities is a discharge of wastewater.
Most industrial activities that discharge stormwater either directly or indirectly to surface water are required to obtain permit authorization for their discharge unless they apply for and receive a "no exposure" certificate. Specifically, facilities listed in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 40 C.F.R. Subpart 122.26 (b)(14)(i)-(xi), excluding (x), stormwater discharges, are included for coverage under the modified permit. A more complete listing of facilities and applicable standard industrial codes (SIC) can be found in the draft permit in Appendix #1-Section C, categories 1-9 and 11.
Applying for Coverage under the Industrial Stormwater General Permit: Facilities covered under the existing industrial stormwater general permit will be automatically covered under the reissued permit. New or unpermitted facilities may obtain coverage under the reissued general permit by submitting a complete permit application to ecology and satisfying all applicable public notice and State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) requirements (WAC 173-226-200). The application is available online at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/biblio/ecy02084.html.
Requesting Copies of the Permit: You may download copies of the draft permit and fact sheet from the web site www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/stormwater/industrial/index.html; or you may request copies from Julie Robertson, phone (360) 407-6575, e-mail email@example.com.
Submitting Written and Oral Comments: Ecology will accept written and oral comments on the draft industrial stormwater general permit and fact sheet. Comments should reference specific text when possible. Comments may address the following:
|•||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.|
You may provide oral comments by testifying at the public hearings.
Submit written, hard copy comments to Julie Robertson, Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600.
Public Workshops/Hearings: The public workshop and hearing on the draft general permit will be held at the Washington State Department of Ecology, 300 Desmond Drive, Lacey, WA, (360) 407-6000, driving directions http://www.ecy.wa.gov/images/offices/map_hq_swro.pdf, on September 11, 2008, at 1 p.m. The purpose of the workshop is to explain ecology's rationale for reissuing the general permit for an interim period until it issues a revised permit in early 2009. The purpose of the hearings is to provide an opportunity for people to give formal oral testimony and comments on the draft permit.
Issuing the Final Industrial Stormwater General Permit: The final permit will be issued after ecology receives and considers all public comments. If public comments represent a substantial departure from the scope or conditions in the original draft permit, another public notice of draft and comment period may ensue.
Ecology expects to issue the general permit on October 1, 2008. It will be effective thirty days later. When issued, a copy of the notice of issuance and ecology's responses to the comments will be sent to all persons who submitted written comment or gave public testimony.