News

Feb. 26, 2020 Spokane River Variance Open House and Construction Stormwater Permit

Listening Sessions

Spokane River Variance open house save the date

The Department of Ecology is hosting an open house to share information on the upcoming water quality standards rulemaking for PCB variances on the Spokane River. The variances were requested by five Spokane River dischargers.

The purpose of this open house is to revisit general information about variances and background on PCBs from previous workshops. Our goal is to provide the public with information that will assist with the upcoming review of the draft rule. We expect to have draft rule language and supporting documents available for public comment in May 2020, at which time we will hold public hearings.

During the open house, we will cover:

· An overview of PCBs in the environment

· The water quality standard for PCBs and how we measure it

· What is a variance and how does it affect compliance with water quality standards?

· How we evaluated each individual discharger variance application

· What to expect during the formal public comment period

There are two opportunities to attend this open house:

In person

March 24, 2020, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Spokane Community College – Lair Student Center

1810 N Greene St., Spokane WA, 99217

Online via webinar

March 26, 2020, 2-4:30 p.m.

Register for the webinar


The in-person open house will include a presentation followed by an informational poster session with an opportunity to speak with Ecology staff. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the formal presentation will begin at 6 p.m.

The online webinar will include the formal presentation, as well as the poster content. Ecology staff will be available for questions after the presentation.

Questions about this workshop? Email Marla Koberstein or call 360-407-6413.

Visit our rulemaking page or view our focus sheet to learn more about the proposed PCB Variances for the Spokane River.

The Department of Ecology is committed to providing people with disabilities access to information and services by meeting or exceeding the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Washington State Policy #188.

To request an ADA accommodation, contact Ecology by phone at 360-407-6600 or email at swqs@ecy.wa.gov. For Washington Relay Service or TTY call 711 or 877-833-6341. Visit Ecology's website for more information.

Construction Stormwater Permit Listening Sessions

The Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) proposes to revise and reissue the Construction Stormwater National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and State Waste Discharge General Permit (CSWGP). The current permit was issued in November 2015 and will expire on Dec. 31, 2020. Prior to releasing a draft permit for public comment, Ecology will hold a series of listening sessions. These sessions will provide a forum for permit holders and other interested parties to provide informal feedback on the current CSWGP and revision suggestions. The listening sessions are open to the public.

Listening Sessions Schedule

· Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 1 p.m. Afternoon Listening Session Webinar

o Join the webinar online

· Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 6 p.m. Evening Listening Session Webinar

o Join the webinar online

Purpose of the Permit

The permit provides NPDES coverage for construction projects located in Washington State that discharge stormwater associated with construction activities. Under federal and state water quality law (Federal Clean Water Act and State Water Pollution Control Act), a permit is required for clearing, grading, and/or excavation that results in the disturbance of one or more acres and discharges stormwater to surface waters of the State; and clearing, grading, and/or excavation on sites smaller than one acre that are part of a larger common plan of development or sale, if the common plan of development or sale will ultimately disturb one acre or more and discharge stormwater to surface waters of the State.

Public Comment on the Draft General Permit

The draft CSWGP and fact sheet are scheduled to be available for formal public comment summer 2020.

Public Workshops and Hearings

Public workshops and hearings will be scheduled following release of the draft permit. The dates, times, and locations of the public workshops and hearings will be posted on Ecology’s Construction Stormwater website.

Issuing the Permit

After Ecology receives and considers all public comments, it will issue the final permit and a response to comments. Ecology expects to issue the final permit in December 2020, with an effective date of January 1, 2021.

Questions

If you have questions, please contact Noel Tamboer at noel.tamboer@ecy.wa.gov or (360) 407-6467.