Ecology News: Ecology’s Water Quality Program Financial Assistance – Workshop scheduled for August

The Department of Ecology’s Water Quality Program State Fiscal Year 2019 (SFY19) Funding Cycle opens on August 14, 2017 and closes on October 16, 2017.  Ecology has scheduled a training workshop for eastern Washington applicants seeking funding for water quality-related projects on August 16 from 9:00am – 1:00pm.  The workshop will be held at the Spokane Convention Center.  For more details see the attached Workshop Flyer.

Ecology News: Coastal Protection Fund (CPF) – Terry Husseman Account (THA) Grants – closes at 5:00 pm on August 14, 2017.

The Terry Husseman Account (THA) Grant cycle opened on July 14, 2017 and closes at 5:00 pm on August 14, 2017.  The online funding application is open to projects that restore or enhance the natural environment. Typical projects address water quality issues and fish and wildlife habitat protection or enhancement in or adjacent to waters of the state (i.e., streams, lakes, wetlands or the ocean). To be considered, projects must provide primary benefits to public resources (land or water stewardship) and affiliated infrastructure. Grant awards can be up to a maximum of $50,000. The typical grant award ranges from $10,000 to $25,000. Please visit the: Terry Husseman Account (THA) Website for Funding Guidelines, eligibility, and application instructions.

Ecology News: Opportunity to comment on the EPA Performance Partnership Agreement

Ecology has a partnership with EPA that is revisited every two years. This year Ecology has requested $11 million from EPA for numerous environmental efforts. The partnership provides funds that support Ecology’s participation in the Task Force.The comment period for this partnership grant agreement with EPA ends on May 31st. 

Task Force members are encouraged to provide feedback for the drafting of this plan. To provide comment go to http://www.ecy.wa.gov/ppa.html 

 

 

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