Ecology’s Formal Draft of the Puget Sound Nutrient General Permit

Ecology is accepting comments from June 16 until Aug. 2, 2021 on the formal draft Puget Sound Nutrient General Permit to control nutrient discharges into Washington waters of the Salish Sea and its associated SEPA documents. Documents are available for review online only. To request a hard copy document, please contact Water Quality Reception at 360-407-6600. You may submit comments online or via mail (see below). Ecology developed a formal draft of the Puget Sound Nutrient General Permit based on input from an advisory committee and input received during the preliminary draft comment period.

The permit provides regional coverage for municipal wastewater treatment plants that discharge nitrogen into Puget Sound. The purpose of the permit is to control the discharge of pollutants from domestic wastewater treatment plants into waters of the State that cumulatively contribute to existing dissolved oxygen impairments. Under Federal and State Water Quality Laws (Federal Clean Water Act and State Water Pollution Control Act), a permit is required for the discharge of these wastewaters. When the permitted activities conducted by a specific class of industries are similar, Ecology issues a general permit to cover all of them, rather than issuing a series of individual permits. This permit does not cover federal or tribal treatment plants.

How to Submit Comments

Use our online eComment form (preferred method)

Eleanor Ott, PSNGP Permit Writer
Department of Ecology, Water Quality Program
PO Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600

Public Hearing Sessions

We will host two online workshops, immediately followed by a public hearing on the following dates:

Morning: Tuesday, July 20, 2021 – 9:30 a.m. – Webinar
Click here to register for the webinar

Evening: Wednesday, July 21, 2021 – 5:30 p.m. – Webinar
Click here to register for the webinar

During the workshop, we will explain the proposed changes to the permit and answer questions. The hearing will begin after the public workshop and will end when public testimony is complete. During the hearing, you may give oral testimony and written comments on the proposed changes. Written comments will receive the same consideration as oral testimony.

*Workshops offered via webinar allow individuals to participate in the info session and ask questions via computer or mobile device. Ecology is not currently offering in-person sessions due to COVID-19 safety concerns

Next Steps

We will consider all comments and use them to inform the final Puget Sound Nutrient General Permit. Ecology will prepare a formal response to comments upon the decision to issue the final permit. We anticipate making a final decision on the permit in the fall of 2021.

More Information

For more information on the nutrients problem and the permit proposal read our focus sheet.

Read our news release or visit our Nutrient General Permit Webpage.

Sign up for our Nutrients-Permit listserv to continue to receive updates on this proposed permit.

Source: Washington State Department of Ecology