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ISGP: Apply for Coverage

After assessing your site, you need to begin the application process in the form of an electronic Notice of Intent (eNOI).

While the NOI application process isn’t lengthy, there are several critical pieces of information you must know to complete the NOI. These items are explained below.

Navigating Ecology’s Website

There are several online accounts you must set up before you are able to access and submit permit documents. These accounts include a Secure Access Washington (SAW) account, A Department of Ecology Signature account, and Ecology’s WQ Web Portal. The eNOI must be submitted on the WQ Web Portal a minimum of 60 days before site operations. Information gathered during the eNOI process will be public information on the State of Washington Water Quality Permitting and Reporting System (PARIS), so it is important that the information is accurate and complete.

SAW Account
Secure Access Washington (SAW) is a central login used for multiple state agencies to ensure that people have secure online access to potentially private information. SAW accounts are made for individuals, not for businesses. Since this system is used by many state agencies such as the department of licensing, there is a decent chance that you already have a SAW account in your name. If you don’t, you will need to create one.
After logging in or creating a SAW account, you will need to add Ecology’s WQWebPortal to the account. This portal is where you will be able to apply for coverage through the NOI, set up your signature account, track permit status, access and submit water quality data, and report changes to your facility.
Department of Ecology Signature Account
Within the WQWebPortal, you will need to create an ecology signature account. This account will allow you to electronically sign documents such as your NOI and eventually your Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs). Signature Accounts are reserved for those who have signatory authority for the permit. The NOI will have to be signed by the owner, partner, or a responsible corporate officer of a company. Future reports required by the permit (such as a DMR) can be signed by these same people, or by a duly authorized representative such as a plant manager, superintendent, or environmental lead.


You will be required to know both the NAICS (often referred to as “nakes” or “nai-acks”) and the SIC code under which your facility will be operating. Some facilities will have secondary or co-located NAICS. These codes categorize a facility’s type of business or industry and are used by ecology to determine permit eligibility and additional monitoring that is required for a site.

How Do I Find My NAICS & SIC Codes
If you are unsure of which NAICS or SIC code your facility falls under, visit the NAICS website. If you know either the NAICS or the SIC code for your facility but are unsure of the other, check out the NAICS to SIC crosswalk.
How Your Facillity's NAICS Code Can Affect Permit Requirements
The Department of Ecology uses NAICS codes to determine which industries are subject to the stormwater permit. A facility’s NAICS code can affect its permit requirements in several ways such as:

– Adding additional sampling and reporting requirements

– Requiring additional BMPs to be required at your facility

– Cause a facility to be exempt from needing a permit.

– Cause a facility to be excluded from the ISGP coverage

Because of these potentially costly ramifications, it is critical to ensure that the NAICS code chosen for your facility accurately reflects your facility’s operations.


Outfall and Discharge Locations

As part of the NOI process, you will be required to identify all the locations where stormwater leaves your site (known as discharge locations), and where that water enters a receiving water or infiltrates into the ground (known as “outfall locations”). While discharge locations are located at the boundary of your site, outfalls can be located some distance from your facility.  Identifying these locations can be tricky and often requires site walks and reviewing your jurisdiction’s GIS maps or archived drainage maps.

SEPA and Public Notice

Facilities that began operation after January 1, 2020, will be required to enter information regarding their State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) decision as part of the NOI. These new facilities will also be required to publish a public notice in a newspaper circulated in the county the facility is located. 

Official Language for Your Public Notice

(Name of applicant), (address of applicant), is seeking coverage under the Washington State Department of Ecology’s NPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activities. The industrial site, known as (facility name), is located at (street address) in (city name). Operations are due to start up on/started on (date). Industrial activities include (briefly describe the industrial activity). Stormwater from the site discharges to (List unnamed and named receiving waters).

Any persons desiring to present their views to the Washington State Department of Ecology concerning this application may notify Ecology in writing within 30 days of the last date of publication of this notice. Comments may be submitted to: [email protected], or

ATTN: Water Quality Program – Industrial Stormwater Washington State Department of Ecology P.O. Box 47696 Olympia, WA 98504-7696

For more information about the SEPA process see our SEPA Page.

Conditional No Exposure

If you feel your site will not have discharge to waters of the state or none of your industrial activity is outside, you can apply for a Conditional No Exposure. Obtaining a conditional no exposure will exclude your facility from permit requirements. Your site must truthfully meet all of the Conditional No Exposure requirements and continue to operate in that way beyond the NOI process to qualify.

11 Conditions for No Exposure
If any of your answers are yes, you do not qualify for this exemption.

1. Is anyone using, storing, or cleaning industrial machinery or equipment in an area that is exposed to stormwater, or are there areas where residuals from using, storing, or cleaning industrial machinery or equipment remain and are exposed to stormwater?

2. Are there materials or residuals on the ground or in stormwater inlets from spills/leaks?

3. Are materials or products from past industrial activity exposed to precipitation?

4. Is material handling equipment used/stored (except adequately maintained vehicles)?

5. Are materials or products exposed to precipitation during loading/unloading or transporting activities?

6. Are materials or products stored outdoors (except final products intended for outside use, e.g., new cars, where exposure to stormwater does not result in the discharge of pollutants)?

7. Are materials contained in open, deteriorated, or leaking storage drums, barrels, tanks, and similar containers?

8. Are materials or products handled/stored on roads or railways owned or maintained by the discharger?

9. Is waste material exposed to precipitation (except waste in covered, non-leaking containers, e.g., dumpsters)?

10. Does the application or disposal of process wastewater occur (unless otherwise permitted)?

11. Is there particulate matter or visible deposits of residuals from roof stacks/vents not otherwise regulated, i.e., under an air quality control permit, and evident in the stormwater outflow?