Ecology News: Proposed Amendments to Chapter 173-98 WAC and Chapter 173-95A WAC (Ecology grand and loan process for funding water projects)

Below is a Rule Proposal Notice regarding proposed amendments to Chapter 173-98 WAC (the Clean Water State Revolving Fund rule) and Chapter 173-95A WAC (the Centennial Clean Water Program rule). In addition, a PDF of the Rule Proposal Notice is below.

The Rule Proposal Notice contains information on the rulemaking for the two rules, including how to obtain documents, how to participate in the combined public hearing and webinar, how to submit comments, and how to receive updates.

If you have any questions about the process, please contact:

Daniel Thompson
Department of Ecology
Water Quality Program – Financial Management Section
PO Box 47600
Olympia WA 98504-7600
Phone: 360-407-6510
Email: daniel.thompson@ecy.wa.gov


Rule Proposal Notice

Introduction

The Department of Ecology (Ecology) proposes to adopt amendments to Chapter 173-98 Washington Administrative Code (WAC), Uses and Limitations of the Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund and Chapter 173-95A WAC, Uses and Limitations of the Centennial Clean Water Program. The rule proposal will be published in the Washington State Register on May 3, 2017.

Chapter 173-98 WAC addresses requirements for Ecology’s administration of Washington State’s Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and the Water Pollution Control Revolving Administration Account. CWSRF provides low interest rate loans to public bodies for statewide, high-priority water quality projects.

Chapter 173-95A WAC addresses requirements for Ecology’s administration of the Centennial Clean Water Program (Centennial). Centennial provides grants and low interest rate loans to public bodies for statewide, high-priority water quality projects.

Proposed Amendments

Ecology proposes to amend the rules to:

  • Address “housekeeping” issues.
  • Provide more clarity.
  • Provide more flexibility.
  • Take advantage of new funding opportunities consistent with state and federal updates.

Expected Adoption Date

Ecology expects to adopt the amended rules by August 2, 2017.

Documents for Review and Comment

The following documents are available for review and comment:

  • Proposed rule language.
  • Determination of Nonsignificance.

To obtain these documents visit http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/ruledev/wac17398/1604ov.html or send an email request to daniel.thompson@ecy.wa.gov.

 Public Hearing and Webinar

Ecology will hold a combined public hearing and webinar on May 31, 2017, at 1:00pm. The event will include a short presentation and a question and answer session followed by the formal public hearing.

The public hearing location is:
Department of Ecology
300 Desmond Drive
Lacey, WA 98503

Ecology is also offering the hearing via webinar. Webinars are an online meeting forum that you can attend from any computer using internet access. To join the webinar click on the following link for more information and instructions: https://wadis.webex.com/wadis/j.php?RGID=rcac981bd94bf44f68fee7cca7aacbe1f.

 Submitting Comments

The comment period on the proposed amended rules and the Determination of Nonsignificance ends June 7, 2016. You can comment in the following ways:

  1. Testify or submit written comments at the public hearing or through the webinar.
  2. Submit your comments via e-Comments at http://ws.ecology.commentinput.com/?id=vM3e3.
  3. Mail your comments to:

Daniel Thompson
Department of Ecology
PO Box 47600
Olympia WA 98504-7600

Ecology’s Response to Comments

All of the comments received will become part of the official record. We will publish responses to comments in a document called a Concise Explanatory Statement (CES). The CES is required by the Administrative Procedure Act (RCW 34.05) and is available after the rule is adopted.

Receive Email Updates

To receive updates on the rulemaking process and other significant grants and loans program actions, please sign up for the Ecology’s Water Quality Program’s Grants and Loans ListServ at: http://listserv.wa.gov/cgi-bin/wa?A0=ECY-WQ-GRANTS-LOAN.

 

Ecology News: The Spokane Urban Waters Data project has been completed in EIM.

The Spokane Urban Waters Data project has been completed in EIM! Kristin Carmack entered this data and provided a Quality Assurance review of the data in EIM.  Kristin deserves a big kudos for this work!  With over 19,000 records, 77 locations, and multiple source investigations spanning 5 years, this was a HUGE amount of data to enter into EIM.

The data can be found under EIM project ID: SRUW-Spokane.

 

Department of Ecology Listerserv for the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund Cleanup and Recent Duwamish Activities.

This Department of Ecology LISTSERV provides information on efforts to control sources of pollution to the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund Cleanup site.

Per the Task Force request, below is an example of our Duwamish updates listserv.  Folks can sign up here: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/maillist.html

For folks who want information just about the Pollutant Loading Assessment, they can find info on this webpage: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/geographic/GreenDuwamish/pla.html

If they want to observe the Technical Advisory Committee meetings, these are open.  Folks can contact Joan Nolan (joan.nolan@ecy.wa.gov) if they want to be added to that smaller list.

Recent activities include:

 March 15, 2017 Green-Duwamish Pollutant Loading Assessment meeting for interested parties

Please join us from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. at the Tukwila Community Center Banquet Hall, 12424 42nd Avenue South, Tukwila.  For more information on the Pollutant Loading Assessment, visit http://www.ecy.wa.gov/geographic/GreenDuwamish/pla.html

 Seattle metal recycler fined $64,000 for pollution discharges to Duwamish River

Ecology fined Seattle Iron and Metals Corporation $64,000 for discharging stormwater with excessive levels of several pollutants into the Duwamish River. The company’s monitoring records showed 27 violations of pollutant limits from February 2015 through December 2016. On June 20 and 21, 2016, stormwater was allowed to bypass the treatment system, which resulted in four additional violations. Seattle Iron and Metals Corporation also failed to submit monitoring reports for the fourth quarter in 2015.  The company paid the fine. Ecology’s water quality penalties go to the state’s Coastal Protection Fund which issues grants to public agencies and tribes for water quality restoration projects.

 Site Work begins for the Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station

King County is beginning site demolition and soil remediation work at the home of the future Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station. The station will treat combined sewage and stormwater flows from the Michigan and Brandon combined sewer overflow basins.  Ecology’s Water Quality Program reviewed the plans for this project to ensure that it meets the state’s water quality laws.  Ecology is reviewing the 90% design documents for the treatment facility, conveyance system improvements, and the facility’s outfall in the Duwamish River (where treated wastewater will discharge). King County’s project website:  http://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/dnrp/wtd/capital-projects/active/georgetown.aspx

 City of Seattle has begun testing stormwater treatment technologies at Riverside Drive as part of the South Park Water Quality project.

This stormwater treatment facility will treat runoff from the 7th Avenue storm drain basin in South Park. The project is part of Seattle’s Integrated Plan to protect Seattle’s waterways, approved by Ecology and EPA, which addresses control of combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and includes stormwater projects.

Rachel McCrea | Lead Water Quality Planner for the Lower Duwamish | Municipal Stormwater Specialist

Department of Ecology NWRO | Water Quality Program | 425-649-7223

 

Ecology News: Water Quality Assessment Meeting Materials and Update

To those interested in the continuing public dialogue on Washington’s Water Quality Assessment and Policy 1-11 updates, we have posted high level notes from the February 9th meeting as well as a copy of the February 9th PowerPoint presentation.

We are scheduling one more meeting to discuss human health criteria and the use of fish tissue in the Assessment.  In preparation for this meeting, Ecology is preparing different options for consideration and discussion, therefore we have decided to push the next meeting date out farther into March.  If you are interested in participating in this meeting, please put a hold on your calendar for Thursday, March 30, 2017.  We do not have final details on the site location or times, but we are working on a meeting room in the SeaTac area, and will also secure a conference room in Spokane for those that want to meet in one place on the east side.  Similar to the other meetings, this will also be run as a webinar for those who are not able to join in person at one of the two locations.

As a reminder from the February 9th meeting, if anyone wants to submit written comments on the bioassessment alternatives that Ecology presented at the January 19th meeting, please email them to me by February 23, 2017 (or contact me if you intend to submit written comments but cannot make that deadline).  Any written comments received on bioassessment or any of the other key topics will be posted on our website and considered as we move forward with revisions to Policy 1-11.

If you are interested in any of the other materials that have been presented at previous meetings, please go to our website at: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/303d/proposed/index.html .

Thank you for your interest in Washington’s water quality.  If you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call.  We look forward to continued dialogue on these issues.

Susan Braley

Watershed Management Section

Phone: (360) 407-6414

email: susan.braley@ecy.wa.gov

 

Ecology News: State Solid and Hazardous Waste Plan- Moving Washington Beyond Waste and Toxics

Here is a sample of work the Department of Ecology and our partners around the state have been doing to support the goals in the State Solid and Hazardous Waste Plan – Moving Washington Beyond Waste and Toxics:

o   Cascadia Consulting group, working with FCS and Abbe & Associates, is working on identifying potential sustainable funding mechanisms for components of Washington’s solid waste system. The process will include two surveys (the first has already been sent out to this Listserv), with a final report expected in June 2017.

o   For more information, contact Janine Bogar, 360-407-6654

o   The 2016 Statewide Waste Characterization Study is done, providing updated data from the last study, which was completed in 2009. The largest components in our waste stream, by weight, continue to be organics and paper. This study also provides a breakdown of products versus packaging, as well as edible (at the time of disposal) versus inedible food.

o   For more information, contact Gretchen Newman, 360-407-6097

  • Northwest Region Commingled Recycling Report and Next Steps

(Supports Goal SWM 5, Actions 5A and 5B on page 27 in the Solid Waste and Materials section)

o   Ecology led a large, diverse and dedicated group of stakeholders who researched and wrote this informative report, titled Optimizing the Commingled Recycling System in Northwest Washington. The group is now starting to work on recommendations from the report. Three workgroups are being established:  1) Educational Messaging; 2) Contracting Harmonization; and 3) Packaging Industry Collaboration. Statewide participants are welcome and needed.

o   For more information, contact Alli Kingfisher, 509-329-3448

  • Greening State Contracts with Environmentally Preferred Purchasing (EPP)

(Supports Goal RIMP 2, Action RIMP 2A on page 34 in the Reducing Impacts of Materials and Products section)

o   Ecology and the Department of Enterprise Services are joining forces to prioritize and green more state purchasing contracts.  Currently, they are focusing on state contracts for Facilities Maintenance and Repair supplies, Bulk, Frozen and Canned Food, Compostable Food Serviceware, and Janitorial Chemicals.

o   For more information, contact Tina Simcich, 360-407-7517

o   The Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Consumer Products report was published in November 2016.  This study examined 201 common consumer items, such as paints and packaging, to look for the presence of byproduct PCBs. The study included products purchased under Department of Enterprise Services contracts. According to state law (RCW 39.26.280 and RCW 39.26.290), the state has a preference for purchasing non-PCB containing items.

o   For more information, contact Kari Trumbull, 360-407-6093

o   A series of training videos on designating your waste are available on Ecology’s website.  An additional video on pharmaceuticals will be available in Spring 2017.  Many pharmaceuticals can be hazardous to people or the environment if they are thrown away or flushed down the drain.

o   For more information, contact Joanne Lind, 360-407-6474

  • Ecology is collaborating with University of Washington and others to provide training opportunities for identifying safer chemicals.
  • Transitioning to Safer Chemicals – in-person 1.5 day training (learn more)
  • List Translator: Introducing a Tool to Screen for Chemical Hazards – a 1.5 hour webinar to learn the basic principles of chemical hazard assessments, why they are of interest and simple tools to identify and screen out hazardous chemicals (learn more)
  • Using List Translators to Screen for Chemical Hazards– in person ¾ day training (learn more)
  • Additional topics and training sessions will be available in the future.
  • For more information, contact Saskia van Bergen, 360-407-6609.

Thank you for your interest in the State Solid and Hazardous Waste Plan,

–          Janine Bogar | Washington State Department of Ecology | Waste 2 Resources Program | 360-407-6654  |janine.bogar@ecy.wa.gov

and-          Chris Chapman | Washington State Department of Ecology |Hazardous Waste & Toxics Reduction Program  |360-407-7160  |chris.chapman@ecy.wa.gov

 

Ecology News: Announcement from Ecology regarding our State Fiscal Year 2018 Draft Funding Offer List and Intended Use Plan.

The Department of Ecology’s (Ecology) Water Quality Program is pleased to announce the availability of the State Fiscal Year 2018 (SFY18) Draft Funding Offer List and Intended Use Plan (Draft List) for public review and comment. The Draft List describes how Ecology proposes to use state and federal dollars to fund projects focused on improving water quality across the state.

This year Ecology evaluated more than 225 applications, including 169 new and 56 carryover projects from local governments, tribes, conservation districts, other public entities, and qualified not-for-profit organizations. New funding requests totaled approximately $297 million. Ecology is proposing grant and loan funding for 165 projects totaling approximately $188 million. The total includes $115 million in loans from the Washington State Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund, approximately $42 million in grants from the Stormwater Financial Assistance Program, approximately $29 million in grants from the Centennial Clean Water Program, and approximately $1.6 million in grants from the Clean Water Act Section 319 Program. The projects proposed for funding reflect the highest priority water quality projects across the state. Projects proposed for funding include:

  • 36 nonpoint source pollution control activity projects.
  • 2 local onsite sewage system repair and replacement projects.
  • 7 stormwater control activity projects.
  • 89 stormwater facility projects.
  • 31 wastewater facility projects.

The Draft List is available at https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/SummaryPages/1710003.html. In addition, the Draft List and other SFY18 Funding Cycle information are available at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/funding/Opp/WQC/CyclePages/WQC2018.html.

A public review and comment period is open until 5:00pm on February 20, 2017. Ecology will hold a public information meeting to present the Draft List and discuss the project evaluation and funding cycle process. Details on the public meeting are listed below.

Date:  February 16
Time:   1:00 pm
Place:  Pierce County Library, 3005 112th Street East, Tacoma, WA 98446

Please mail, email, or fax any written comments on the Draft List to:
Daniel Thompson
Department of Ecology
Water Quality Program – Financial Management Section
P.O. Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600
Fax: 360-407-7151
Email: daniel.thompson@ecy.wa.gov

A Final Funding Offer List and Intended use Plan (Final List) will be developed and issued following the receipt of public comments, awarding of federal grants, and passage of the state 2017-19 Biennial Budget. The Final List is expected to be published by July 1, 2017. Any public comments received on the Draft List will be addressed in the Final List.

 

Ecology News: Notice of Meetings on Washington’s Water Quality Assessment: January 19 and February 9, 2017

The Washington Department of Ecology continues to hold meetings to have public dialogue on key issues around how we develop Washington’s Water Quality Assessment.  These meetings are being held in-person and by webinar.  Please mark your calendar for the following meeting dates and register if you are interested in attending:

  • Register for the January 19 meeting in Renton to discuss Data Used in the Assessment and Bioassessment.
  • Register for the February 9 meeting (sites in Lacey and Spokane) to discuss human health criteria and the use of fish tissue.

For more information and details go to our website: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/303d/proposed/index.html.

Questions should be addressed to: Susan Braley, Watershed Management Section, Washington Department of Ecology
Phone: (360) 407-6414
email: susan.braley@ecy.wa.gov