Puget Sound Olympia

Municipal Stormwater

2019 Western Washington Municipal Stormwater Permit Reissuance

The Western Washington Phase I and Phase II permits expire on July 31, 2018. After careful consideration of many factors, we have decided to extend the current (2013-2018) Western Washington Permits for one year. The Permits will reissue on July 1, 2019, and become effective on August 1, 2019.

  • The extension will allow us to consider information from ongoing research on effectiveness of stormwater management actions, as well as conduct a review of submittals on permit requirements that are due late in the current permit cycle.
  • The extension will allow for more time to engage with the public and stakeholders during the process of permit development.
  • Extending our permit cycle will allow us to reissue the Western and Eastern Municipal Stormwater Permits at the same time, ensuring an inclusive process for the whole State.

In accordance with WAC 173-226-220(3), the current (2013-2018) Permits will remain in effect during the extension for all permittees who reapply on-time.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions on the permit extension and continuing program implementation-primarily for Phase II-although there is applicable overlap with Phase I requirements.

We are identifying issues and necessary improvements for the Western Washington municipal stormwater general permits. We anticipate releasing preliminary draft permit sections for comment in October.

Public Meetings

fWe held three public meetings on specific permit topics in February and March 2017. We used the early input we received in fall of 2016 as the foundation to generate further discussion and receive broader input.

Summary notes from each of the meetings are posted below.

Meeting agenda
Meeting presentation
Presentation handouts:
Table prompts
Potential outfall reporting

February 23, 2017 - Summary Lynnwood meeting notes

Lynnwood Convention Center

March 2, 2017 - Summary Lacey meeting notes

Lacey Community Center (also held via webinar)

March 14, 2017 - Summary Vancouver meeting notes

Clark College

Early input

In October 2016, stakeholders provided early input to identify areas of the permits that need clarification or improvement. While the early input is informal and responses won't be prepared, we are reviewing input closely and greatly appreciate the time and energy involved in providing it. These early efforts demonstrate a shared commitment to protect and restore Washington's waters. Below is the informal early input received on permit reissuance:

Next steps and reissuance timeline

We anticipate releasing preliminary draft permit sections for informal comment later this summer and a formal draft with a formal comment period in the summer of 2018.

2017 Update to Stormwater Management Manual-Eastern WA

Background on the early input

Considerations for initial reissuance input

When we heard there was interest in providing early input on permit changes, we provided the following considerations to help frame the comments:

  • No backsliding permit requirements
  • Consider status of implementation. Several requirements from the 2013 permits are just beginning to be fully implemented. Consider whether additional implementation time will provide clearer direction for potential future permit changes.
  • Provide suggestions on permit changes that will:
    • Improve understanding/clarity of the requirement
    • Improve implementation
    • Lead to better water quality results
  • Thoughts on whether (and how) to combine the Phase I and WWA Phase II permits
  • Suggestions for requirements in the permit that do not easily roll into the next permit cycle (e.g. LID code updates, and watershed-based stormwater planning)
  • 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.

Collaboration opportunities

The following groups organized to collaborate on submitting early input. They may continue to collaborate in the future as the reissuance process gets underway. Currently, these groups are awaiting our next steps before developing any additional input.

Some Phase I and Phase II Permittees, as well as environmental stakeholders and other interested parties, are engaging in a collaborative process to discuss recommended permit changes. Currently this effort is known as the “Ad-hoc Group”. For more information, visit the Washington Stormwater Center.

Regarding the Public Education and Outreach permit requirements, STORM (Stormwater Outreach for Regional Municipalities) is continuing to work with members, permittees, and others on early recommendations. For more information, contact Tiffany O’Dell at todell@co.pierce.wa.us.

Regarding monitoring requirements, a formal stakeholder group developed specific recommendations for Special Condition S8 Monitoring and Assessment and the Regional Stormwater Monitoring Program. A separate, grant-funded process resulted in additional recommendations specific to permittees located in the Lower Columbia River Basin. For more information, contact karen.dinicola@ecy.wa.gov.

Contact

Questions? Contact Abbey Stockwell at abbey.stockwell@ecy.wa.gov or 360-407-7221