WSR 09-05-022


[ Filed February 9, 2009, 3:26 p.m. ]



Introduction: In 1994, the Washington state department of ecology (ecology) developed a national pollutant discharge elimination system (NPDES) general permit to regulate the discharge of wastewater from fresh fruit packing facilities. This permit was reissued in 1999 and 2004. A draft general permit and fact sheet are being developed for reissuance in 2009.

This permit was developed to meet the requirements of chapters 90.48, 90.52, and 90.54 RCW as amended, and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) (Title 33 United States Code, Section 1251 et seq.) as amended. All requirements of 40 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) 122.41 and 122.42 are incorporated in this general permit by reference.

The fruit packing industry is eligible for coverage under a general permit due to: (1) The similar wastewater characteristics among facilities; (2) the uniform discharge conditions to which all facilities would be subject; and (3) the significant reduction of resources necessary for permit handling. However, individual NPDES/state waste discharge permits will still be applied in those instances where ecology determines the general permit is not appropriate for a facility or an individual facility does not wish to be covered by the general permit.

This general permit establishes treatment/disposal methods, effluent limits, and best management practices for discharges from the fresh fruit packing industry. Compliance with this general permit is anticipated to protect human health and waters of the state.

Types of Facilities or Dischargers and Geographic Area Covered: Every new or existing fresh fruit packing facility within the entire state of Washington which receives, packs, stores, and/or ships either hard or soft fruit is required to apply for coverage under either this general permit or an individual NPDES/state waste discharge permit.

Documents Available for Review: The proposed general permit, fact sheet, economic impact analysis, and other related documents are on file and may be inspected and copied between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday at the following ecology location. Copies of the documents may be sent to interested parties upon request. Contact the following ecology office for further information.

Public Hearings and Workshops: Two public hearings concerning this draft general permit shall be held as follows. Each hearing will be preceded by a one hour workshop to explain changes in the permit and answer questions.

DATE Thursday, March 12, 2009 Friday, March 13, 2009
WORKSHOP BEGINS 2:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m.
HEARING BEGINS 3:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m.
LOCATION Washington State Department of Ecology - CRO Washington Apple Commission Conference Room
ADDRESS 15 West Yakima Avenue

Suite 200

2900 Euclid Avenue
CITY Yakima, WA Wenatchee, WA
ROOM Waterfall/Seafoam Conference Room (2nd Floor) Large Conference Room

When and How to Submit Comments: Comments on the proposed general permit may be given at the public hearings. Interested persons are also invited to submit written comments regarding the proposed general permit. All written comments should be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 13, 2009, to the Washington State Department of Ecology, Central Regional Office, 15 West Yakima Avenue, Suite 200, Yakima, WA 98902, Attention: Cory Hixon, General Permit Manager, (509) 454-7298,

This notice will be published in the legal section of the Yakima Herald-Republic and the Wenatchee Daily World on Wednesday, March 4, 2009, and again on Wednesday, March 11, 2009. A mailing containing this notice will be sent to all current permittees and other interested parties on March 3, 2009.

Final Determination: All comments received at the public hearings or at ecology's central regional office by 5:00 p.m. on April 13, 2009, will be considered before final permit terms, limitations, and conditions are established. A responsive summary of comments received during the comment period will be prepared and available for public review. If the final content of the general permit remains substantially unchanged from the draft permit, a copy of the final determination in the form of a public notice of issuance shall be forwarded to all persons who submitted written comment or gave public testimony regarding the permit. However, if the final determination is substantially changed, another public notice of draft permit shall be published.

Economic Impact Analysis: With the exception of building new evaporative lined lagoons, ecology has determined that the changes made in this permit will not result in a significant change from the previous permit in the economic impact on the industry.

Tentative Determination to Issue: Ecology has tentatively determined to issue a general permit to the fresh fruit packing industry operating in the state of Washington. Proposed issuance date is June 11, 2009.

Further Information: Contact Cory Hixon at the ecology central regional office listed above.

The 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, disabled veteran's status, Vietnam Era veteran's status or sexual orientation.

If you have 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