WSR 10-01-173

DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY


[ Filed December 22, 2009, 12:44 p.m. ]


PUBLIC NOTICE


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



The department of ecology is proposing to modify the general permit for irrigation systems. The permit covers entities that use pesticides to control aquatic weeds in irrigation systems. The department of ecology is proposing to modify the permit in March 2010. The permit is called the "Irrigation System Aquatic Weed Control National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and State Waste Discharge General Permit."

The modified draft permit and fact sheet are available for review and public comment from January 6, 2010, to February 19, 2010. The department of ecology will host an informational workshop and public hearing on its proposal. The public is encouraged to give written comments during the public comment period or oral comments at the public hearing.

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. The modification to the permit would allow the use of the pesticide endothall. Endothall is an alternative to acrolein, the pesticide that irrigation districts historically used but is being phased out.

The department of 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.

Requesting Copies of the Permit: You can request copies of the proposed permit and fact sheet by contacting Andrew Kolosseus at the department of ecology at the address below. The proposed permit modification and fact sheet are also available on-line at

http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/pesticides/irrigation/irrigation_index.html.

Entities Covered by Permit: The modified permit would continue to cover entities that are covered by the current permit. The following entities are covered under the current permit:

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 entities may obtain coverage under the permit by submitting a complete permit application to the department of ecology.

Submitting Written and Oral Comments: The department of ecology will accept written and oral comments on the modified draft permit and fact sheet. Comments should be limited to the proposed modification to add endothall to the 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.

The department of ecology must receive written, e-mailed, and faxed comments no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, February 19, 2010. The public can make oral comments by testifying at the public hearings.

Public Workshop/Hearing: The workshop begins at 6:00 p.m. The hearing will begin when the workshop ends. The purpose of the workshop is to explain the general permit, describe the proposed modification, and answer questions. The purpose of the hearing is to provide an opportunity for people to give formal comments on the proposed modification of the permit. The public workshop and hearing on the draft permit will be held at Yakima, Washington, on February 9, 2010, at 6:00 p.m., at the Department of Ecology, Central Regional Office, 15 West Yakima Avenue, Suite 200, Yakima, WA 98902-3452.

Issuing the Final Permit: The department of ecology will decide if it will issue the modified permit after it considers all public comments. This would occur soon after the end of the public comment period. The permit would be effective thirty days later. The department of ecology will send a response to everyone who commented on the proposed modification.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office