WSR 17-16-078
[Filed July 26, 2017, 2:32 p.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: The Washington energy facility site evaluation council (EFSEC) proposes to amend three subsections of chapter 463-76 WAC. Two of the proposed rule amendments will streamline the process to make minor revisions to national pollutant discharge elimination system (NPDES) permits. Both amendments are based on existing provisions in Washington department of ecology (ecology) NPDES rules, chapter 173-220 WAC. The third proposed rule amendment will assure consistency between EFSEC rules and federal regulations concerning the termination of NPDES permits.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapters 90.48 and 80.50 RCW.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: WAC 463-76-054 Schedules of compliance, the purpose of this rule amendment is [to] make EFSEC rules consistent with existing state and federal rules concerning interim compliance dates within a schedule of compliance. EFSEC's existing rules require interim compliance dates be no more than nine months apart. Ecology and federal rules require interim compliance dates to be no more than one year apart. WAC 173-220-140(2) and 40 C.F.R. 122.47 (a)(3), respectively. EFSEC proposes to amend existing rules to allow interim compliance dates of up to one year apart.
WAC 463-76-062 Modification of NPDES permit:
WAC 463-76-062(1), the purpose of this rule amendment is to make EFSEC rules consistent with federal regulations concerning the termination of NPDES permits. Federal regulations do not provide for the suspension of NPDES permits, but do recognize that they can be terminated. 40 C.F.R. 122 Subpart D, Subsections 122.61-64. This proposed rule amendment will delete suspension of a permit and will add termination of a permit to EFSEC's options to make rules consistent with federal regulations.
WAC 463-76-062(3), the purpose of this rule amendment is to make EFSEC rules consistent with ecology rules to streamline and simplify EFSEC's process to make minor revisions to an NPDES permit. Existing EFSEC rules require implementation of the full permit revision process, with formal public notice and council approval processes. Ecology rules differentiate between major and minor permit modifications and allow the use of an abbreviated public process for the minor modification of an NPDES, provided the revision does not result in less stringent effluent limits. WAC 173-220-190(3). EFSEC's proposal to adopt ecology's approach to minor permit revisions will simplify and streamline the permittees' requests for permit modifications and allow more expedited action by EFSEC to implement such requests.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) delegates permitting authority to EFSEC. EFSEC rules are required to be consistent with EPA regulations.
EFSEC contracts with ecology to write EFSEC's NPDES permits and assist with compliance and enforcement issues. Chapter 90.48 RCW requires EFSEC and ecology to work together to maximize coordination and minimize duplication in implementing their respective NPDES programs. Consistency between EFSEC and ecology rules is required by state law, when possible, and facilitates consistency between the programs.
Process for Developing New Rule: EFSEC will use standard rule-making procedures described in chapter 34.05 RCW, e.g., CR-101, CR-102, CR-103.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. Written comments can be submitted by email to EFSEC at, or Attn: Jim La Spina, P.O. Box 43172, Olympia, WA 98504-3172.
More information:
Updates will be posted on EFSEC's web site
Subscribers to EFSEC's Interested Parties and Rulemaking lists will be mailed updates.
Contact Jim La Spina,, (360) 664-1362.
Public comments to EFSEC on the proposed rule amendments are due by September 15, 2017, at 5 p.m.
July 26, 2017
Stephen Posner