WSR 10-10-064

DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY


[ Filed April 30, 2010, 11:09 a.m. ]


Notice of a Draft New General Permit

for Biosolids Management



Notice is hereby given that the Washington state department of ecology (ecology) is seeking comments on a draft new general permit for biosolids management (general permit) to replace the expiring general permit.

Ecology was granted the authority to develop a state biosolids program (including the general permit) under RCW 70.95J.007. The purpose of the state biosolids rule (chapter 173-308 WAC) is to maximize beneficial use of biosolids while protecting human health and the environment. The purpose of the general permit is to implement the requirements of chapter 173-308 WAC.

Ecology previously sought public comment on its tentative decision to issue a new general permit. The comment period ended on February 20, 2010. No comments were received.

Ecology issued a determination of nonsignificance (DNS) under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) for the draft general permit on May 18, 2010. After review of a completed environmental checklist and other information on file, ecology determined this proposal will not have a probable significant adverse impact on the environment. The DNS and completed environmental checklist are at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/swfa/biosolids/GeneralPermit.html, or request a copy from the person listed below.

The state biosolids program regulates biosolids (including septage) applied to the land, biosolids sold or given away in a bag or other container, biosolids being stored, biosolids transferred from one facility to another, and sewage sludge disposed in a municipal solid waste landfill.

The general permit will apply to all treatment works treating domestic sewage in the state. The majority of these facilities are publicly owned wastewater treatment plants. Other types of facilities subject to the general permit include privately owned wastewater treatment plants that treat only domestic sewage, composting facilities that treat biosolids as a feedstock, biosolids beneficial use facilities, and septage management facilities.

The general permit is applicable within the boundaries of the state of Washington, including state and federal lands. It does not apply to lands within the boundaries of Indian reservations or lands outside of Indian reservations that are held in trust by the federal government for a tribe.

Three hundred seventy-nine facilities have stated they will apply for coverage under the general permit. A list of the facilities is available at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/swfa/biosolids/pdf/FacilitiesSubmitted.pdf or by requesting from the person listed below.

Each facility seeking coverage under the general permit must submit a complete permit application as defined in the general permit and comply with any SEPA and public notice requirements. Facilities that have met all the procedural requirements and submitted all required documents will be "provisionally" approved for coverage under the general permit. Ecology will then conduct a full review of each facility's biosolids program before providing "final" approval of coverage.

In accordance with the requirements in WAC 173-308-90005(4), an economic impact analysis (EIA) was conducted on the draft general permit to assess whether it may have a disproportionate economic impact on small businesses relative to large businesses. Ecology found that the draft general permit would not have a disproportionate impact on small businesses. The EIA may be obtained from http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/swfa/biosolids/GeneralPermit.html or by requesting from the person listed below.

Documents and information on the draft general permit may be obtained from http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/swfa/biosolids/GeneralPermit.html or by requesting from the person listed below.

Ecology is maintaining an interested parties list for anyone who wants to be informed about the general permit process. To be included on the list, notify the person listed below.

There will be a thirty day comment period for the draft general permit and the DNS. Comments can be submitted in writing or at a public hearing. Written comments will be accepted by e-mail or other means, including United States mail. Send written comments to the person listed below. Oral comments may be made during a public hearing that will occur at 1301 North Dolarway Road, Ellensburg, WA 98926, on June 22, 2010, from 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

All comments received by 6:00 p.m. on June 22, 2010, will be considered during the development of a final general permit. A summary of responses to comments received will be prepared and made available. Ecology anticipates issuing a final general permit by August 1, 2010. Following issuance, there will be a thirty day appeal period for the final general permit before it becomes effective.

For comments, questions, or requests please contact Daniel Thompson, State Biosolids Coordinator, Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600, e-mail Daniel.Thompson@ecy.wa.gov, phone (360) 407-6108. The physical address is 300 Desmond Drive S.E., Lacey, WA 98503.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office