Dept. of Ecology proposes to re-issue current industrial stormwater permit

The Washington Department of Ecology proposes to re-issue its current industrial stormwater general permit through April 30, 2009, while works on developing a simpler and more effective permit. Ecology will accept public comments about the permit re-issue until Sept. 12. The industrial stormwater general permit regulates industrial facilities that discharge stormwater into surface waters and into storm sewers that lead to Puget Sound and other waterbodies...

• Department will continue to develop simpler, more effective permit

OLYMPIA, WA, Aug. 7, 2008 -- The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) proposes to re-issue its current industrial stormwater general permit through April 30, 2009, while it engages the regulated community and environmental community in developing a simpler and more effective permit.

Ecology will accept public comments about the permit re-issue until Sept. 12.

The industrial stormwater general permit regulates industrial facilities that discharge stormwater into surface waters and into storm sewers that lead to Puget Sound, other marine waters, and Washington's rivers and major lakes. It covers a wide array of industry sectors, including lumber, paper, printing, chemicals, petroleum, leather, stone, metals, ships, landfills, transportation, mills and food.

Approximately 70 percent of industrial stormwater general permit holders discharge stormwater in the 12 counties that border Puget Sound. Ecology regulates approximately 1,150 industrial facilities in Washington through the permit.

Ecology's collaborative work to revise the permit will address a broad range of compliance barriers, including stormwater research and development, education and outreach, technical assistance, compliance inspections, and enforcement.

Ecology expects to issue a revised permit sometime within the next year. The agency will schedule another public comment period for that action.

The permit and fact sheet can be found online at:
www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/stormwater/industrial/index.html.

Ecology's public workshop and hearing on the permit will be at 1 p.m., Sept. 11, at Ecology's headquarters building, 300 Desmond Drive, Lacey, telephone 360-407-6000.

For details, see: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/images/offices/map_hq_swro.pdf

Ecology will accept written and oral comments on the draft industrial stormwater general permit and fact sheet. Comments should reference specific text 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; and any other concern that would result from Ecology's issuance of the permit.

Ecology encourages comments by e-mail. Submit them to industrialstormwatercomments@ecy.wa.gov. The public may provide oral comments by testifying at the public hearings or by submitting written, hard-copy comments to Julie Robertson, Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600. Ecology must receive written, postmarked or e-mailed comments no later than 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 12.

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