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Published on Friday, October 6, 2017

Ecology seeking input on municipal stormwater permits

The Department of Ecology is asking for feedback to help guide their process for reissuing the next round of municipal stormwater permits. For Western Washington, there are several draft sections available for review, and for Eastern Washington they are seeking more general and informal feedback.

AWC would like to help provide input. If you would like us to make comments on your behalf on either of these permits, please provide them to Carl Schroeder by December 8 so we can compile and provide them to Ecology. We encourage you to make your own individual comments directly to Ecology as well. Details on each permit are below.

Western WA

Preliminary draft sections are available here. An informational meeting on the preliminary draft sections will be held on October 12, 2017. Details on the meeting and the permit reissuance process can be found at the link above.

Ecology is accepting comments on these preliminary draft sections until 11:59 pm on January 19, 2018. This is an informal comment period, Ecology will not respond to the comments received, but will take them into consideration in developing the formal drafts of the permits. The formal drafts are anticipated to be available for comment in the summer of 2018.

Eastern WA

Ecology is welcoming cities to submit ideas to help inform early permit writing. Additional engagement opportunities will be provided – this is the first stage in collecting your thoughts on how permit language can be improved.

Ecology provided the following guidance, questions, and principles to consider when submitting input:

  • No backsliding permit requirements.
  • Consider status of implementation. Several requirements from the 2014 permit are just beginning to be fully implemented. Provide suggestions on permit changes that will improve understanding/clarity of the requirement, improve implementation, lead to better water quality results.
  • Suggestions for requirements in the permit that do not easily roll into the next permit cycle (e.g. monitoring).
  • Provide rationale or justification for any proposed changes or suggestions. Provide relevant data sources or literature if this supports proposals for revisions.
  • Provide input about existing permit language that you view as an impediment to implementation.
  • While always helpful, exact permit language is not necessary.

Ultimately, Ecology is responsible for administering and issuing the permits and will make final decisions on permit language. This early (and continuing) input will help to inform those decisions.

Submit your input to Abbey Stockwell by December 15, 2017 at (360) 407-7221 or abbey.stockwell@ecy.wa.gov