WSR 02-07-119


[ Filed March 20, 2002, 11:42 a.m. ]





Introduction: The Washington State Department of Ecology is hosting a series of informational workshops and public hearings on its proposal to reissue the industrial stormwater general permit. The draft permit is proposed to replace the existing permit that was issued and subsequently appealed. Revising and reissuing the industrial stormwater general permit is part of a settlement agreement to resolve the appeal. The revised permit also incorporates changes required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Stormwater Phase 2 Regulations.

The proposed permit provides coverage for industries located in Washington state, statewide, 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. Ecology first issued its baseline stormwater general permit on November 18, 1992, covering both industrial and construction activities. When reissued in 1995, the industrial stormwater general permit no longer included construction activities (covered under separate construction general permit). Permits must be reissued at least every five years and the industrial stormwater general permit was reissued without substantive change by Ecology on October 4, 2000; with an expiration date of November 18, 2005. Ecology is now proposing to revoke the existing permit and replace it. The replacement permit is now available for review and comment. Ecology is intending to make the new permit effective July 5, 2002.

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 (C.F.R.) at 40 C.F.R. Subpart 122.26 (b)(14)(i-xi, excluding x), Stormwater Discharges, are included for coverage under the proposed permit. A more complete listing of facilities and applicable Standard Industrial Codes (SIC) can be found in the proposed permit in Appendix #1-Section C, categories 1-9 and 11.

Permit Requirements: The proposed general permit addresses the legal requirements and controls the discharge of pollutants to protect the water quality of ground water and surface water in our state. A general permit is like an individual wastewater discharge permit except that it addresses a group of facilities as a whole. A single permit is developed that implements standard stormwater management, treatment, monitoring, and reporting requirements for all permit holders covered under the general permit. Interested persons are encouraged to obtain a copy of the proposed permit and fact sheet and/or attend a workshop and hearing described below.

The proposed permit includes some significant revisions and additions. These changes include:

Light industry must apply for a "No Exposure" certificate or for the permit.

There is no exemption for municipally owned or operated facilities.

Stormwater sampling, analysis, and reporting is required.

Mixing zones are defined.

Discharges to impaired waters (waters subject to TMDL or listed under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act) are addressed.

Compliance with water quality standards is clearly required.

The proposed permit includes requirements that increase costs associated with the permit. As before, small businesses will have a proportionately greater economic impact than large businesses. However, there is little mitigation that that can be effected without violating requirements of state or federal water pollution control laws. A small business impact analysis is available.

General Permit Issuance: Ecology expects to issue the revised general permit on June 5, 2002. The reissued permit becomes effective thirty days after issuance. The final permit may, however, be modified based on the comments received and if changes represent a substantial departure from the scope or conditions in the original draft permit, another public notice of draft and comment period may ensue. When issued, a copy of the notice of issuance and ecology's responses to the comments will be sent to all persons who submit written comment or give public testimony.

How to Request Copies of the Proposed Permit: The permit, fact sheet, and small business impact analysis may be downloaded from the Internet: or you may request a copy of the proposed permit, fact sheet and small business impact analysis by contacting Keith Johnson:

Through the address noted below

By phone (360) 407-6442, fax (360) 407-6426

By e-mail

Where to Submit Written Comments: Ecology is seeking public comment on the proposed industrial stormwater general permit. Comments should reference specific text followed by proposed modification or concern when possible. Comments may address technical issues, 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 this permit. If you wish to comment on the proposed permit, send your written comments to Keith Johnson, Washington State Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600.

Written comments must be received by ecology no later than 5:00 p.m., Friday, May 17, 2002. Comments may also be made by attending and testifying at one of the public hearings listed below.

Public Workshop/Hearing: Six public workshops and hearings on the proposed permit are scheduled. The purpose of the workshop is to explain the general permit, answer questions, and discuss your ideas and concerns before formal testimony begins. The purpose of the hearing is to provide interested parties an opportunity to state for the record their opinions and comments on the proposed general permit. The informational workshops will all begin at 1:30 p.m. and the formal public hearing to provide testimony will begin at 3:00 p.m. The workshops and hearings will be held on the following dates at locations noted. Additional information on the meeting location may be obtained from the Internet or by contacting Keith Johnson (see above): Workshop: 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Public Hearing: 3:00 p.m. until completion of testimony but no later than 4:30 p.m.

May 6, 2002

Bates Technical College

Auditorium - Downtown Campus

1101 South Yakima Avenue

Tacoma, WA

May 7, 2002

Department of Social and Health Services

The Skagit and Snohomish Rooms

900 East College Way

Mount Vernon, WA

May 9, 2002

Spokane County Cooperative Extension

Meeting Room B

North 222 Havana

Spokane, WA

May 10, 2002

Washington State Department of Ecology

Central Regional Office

15 West Yakima Avenue, Suite 200

Yakima, WA

May 13, 2002

Washington State Department of Ecology

Northwest Regional Office

3190 - 160th Avenue S.E.

Bellevue, WA

May 14, 2002

Department of Social and Health Services

DCS Conference Room

5411 East Mill Plain - Town Plaza Mall

Vancouver, WA

Ecology is an equal opportunity agency. If you have special accommodation needs or require the fact sheet and proposed permit in an alternative format, please contact Keith Johnson at (360) 407-6442 or TDD (only) (360) 407-6006.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office