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Jul. 1, 2015 Washington Department of Ecology --NEWS

Updating the construction stormwater permit

OLYMPIA – Although it’s summertime, the Washington Department of Ecology is preparing for the rain by updating a water quality permit to help construction sites prevent muddy runoff the next time it rains.

Managing muddy water is important because when it reaches downstream waters, either directly or through stormwater drains, it can harm aquatic life and fish habitat. Sediment and minerals in muddy runoff can feed plant growth and contribute to algae blooms that deplete oxygen in water.

Ecology is updating the Construction Stormwater General Permit that covers approximately 2,000 construction sites across the state.

Proposed changes to the permit are minor, but include:

· Required electronic submittal of the permit application.

· Special protections for areas that will be used for low-impact development.

Ecology is accepting public comments on the draft permit until Aug. 10 and will hold several public workshops and one public hearing:

· Tuesday, July 14, public workshop at 1 p.m.
Water Resources Education Center, 4600 SE Columbia Way, Vancouver.

· Thursday, July 16, public workshop at 1 p.m.
Skagit Transit Station, 105 E. Kincaid, Mount Vernon.

· Tuesday, July 21, public workshop at 1 p.m.
Moses Lake Fire Station, 701 E. Third Avenue, Moses Lake.

· Wednesday, July 29, public workshop at 1 p.m.
South Seattle Community College, Georgetown Campus, C122, 6737 Corson Avenue S., Seattle.

· Thursday, July 30, public workshop webinar at 1 p.m. Join by computer and telephone.

· Wednesday, Aug. 5, public workshop and public hearing at 1 p.m.
Pierce County Environmental Services Building, 9850 64th St. W., University Place.

Ecology last updated the permit in 2011. Learn more and find out how to submit comments at Ecology’s website.