WSR 09-09-074


[ Filed April 14, 2009, 10:50 a.m. ]



INTRODUCTION: The Washington state department of ecology (ecology) proposes to reissue the fresh fruit packing general permit. This general permit regulates the discharges of wastewater from fresh fruit packing facilities. It was developed and is being reissued in accordance with the requirements of chapters 90.48, 90.52, and 90.54 RCW, chapters 173-226 and 173-220 WAC, and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (the Clean Water Act) as amended. All requirements of 40 C.F.R. are incorporated in this general permit by reference.

IDENTIFICATION OF FACILITIES AND GEOGRAPHIC AREA COVERED: Although the fresh fruit packing industry is located primarily in the state's centralized fruit growing region along the Yakima, Columbia, Wenatchee, and Okanogan rivers, this general permit covers the entire state of Washington. Every new or existing fresh fruit packing facility which receives, packs, stores, and/or ships either hard or soft fresh fruit and discharges wastewater, must apply for and obtain coverage under this general permit, according to the waste discharge general permit program, chapter 173-226 WAC. Individual permits will be applied in those instances where ecology determines this general permit is not appropriate for that facility. Dischargers authorized by this general permit may request to be excluded from coverage under the permit by applying for and obtaining coverage under an individual permit.

APPLYING FOR COVERAGE: All fresh fruit packing facilities must apply for coverage by submitting to ecology a completed and signed Application for Coverage form, which is specifically prescribed by ecology for this general permit and was developed in accordance with WAC 173-226-200. Existing facilities currently under permit should have submitted to ecology an Application for Renewal of Coverage by January 2, 2009. New facilities must apply for coverage no later than one hundred eighty days prior to the discharge of any wastewater. Any facility required to obtain coverage under either this general permit or an individual NPDES/state waste discharge permit, with the exception of those stipulated in WAC 173-216-050, and found not to have done so within the time limits given, will be subject to enforcement for unlawfully discharging without a permit.

PUBLIC HEARINGS, COMMENTS, AND CHANGES IN THE PERMIT: Ecology held public hearings concerning this general permit's reissuance on March 12, 2009, in Yakima and March 13, 2009, in Wenatchee. A total of three testimonials were given. All three testimonials were in support of the permit's reissuance. Four written comments were received prior to the April 13, 2009, comment period deadline. A summary of ecology's response to these testimonials and comments is available for public review as an appendix to the fact sheet.

PERMIT APPEALS: Pursuant to the provisions of chapter 43.21B RCW and chapter 173-226 WAC, any person who objects to the terms and conditions of this general permit as it applies to the fresh fruit packing industry may file an appeal of the permit by July 11, 2009.

Appeals should be sent to: Pollution Control Hearings Board, P.O. Box 40903, Olympia, WA 98504-0903.

Copies of the appeals must be sent to: Washington State Department of Ecology, Central Regional Office, 15 West Yakima Avenue, Suite 200, Yakima, WA 98902, Attention: Cory Hixon.

In accordance with the rules of the hearings board, any appeal must contain the following: (1) The appellant's name and address; (2) a description of the part of the permit that is the reason for the appeal; (3) the date of the permit; (4) a clear and concise statement of facts upon which the appellant relies to sustain his or her statement of error; (5) a clear, separate, and concise statement of every error alleged to have been committed; and (6) a statement setting forth the relief sought.

Pursuant to the provisions of chapter 43.21B RCW and chapter 173-226 WAC, the terms and conditions of this general permit, as they apply to an individual facility, are appealable, within thirty days of the effective date of coverage of that facility. This appeal is limited to this general permit's applicability and nonapplicability to that individual facility. The appeal of coverage under this general permit by an individual facility does not affect other facilities covered under this general permit. If the terms and conditions of this general permit are found to be inapplicable to any individual facility, the matter will be remanded to ecology to consider the issuance of an individual permit.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The proposed permit, fact sheet, Application for Coverage form, economic impact analysis, and other related documents are on file and may be inspected and copied Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the Yakima address listed above. Copies of these documents can be sent to interested parties upon request. For further information contact Cory Hixon, general permit manager, washington state department of ecology, at the address given above or by phone (509) 454-7298 or e-mail

The Washington state department of ecology is an equal opportunity agency and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, disability, age, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disabled veteran's status, or Vietnam era veteran's status.

If you need special accommodation needs or require this document in alternative format, please contact Cindy Huwe at (509) 457-7105 (voice) or 800-833-6388 (TDD).

Washington State Code Reviser's Office