OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Ecology finalized changes to its water quality permit that covers approximately 2,000 construction sites across the state and helps prevent muddy runoff when it rains.
Muddy runoff is a pollution problem when it reaches downstream waters, either directly or through stormwater drains. Sediment and minerals in muddy runoff can harm aquatic life and fish habitat, feed plant growth, and contribute to algae blooms that deplete oxygen in water.
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.
“This permit is an important tool in helping us prevent pollution as land is developed. The updates we’ve made are in keeping with our transition to e-business goals,” said Heather Bartlett, manager of Ecology’s Water Quality Program.
The updated permit goes into effect Jan. 1, 2016. Find out more by visiting Ecology’s website.