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Meetings & Hearings

Draft modified water quality permits to raise steelhead

Cooke Aquaculture Pacific

Oct. 14, 2020, 6 p.m., Online webinar

We invite you to attend a public workshop followed by a hearing on the draft modifications to four Cooke Aquaculture Pacific (Cooke) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Puget Sound water quality net pen permits.

The modifications would allow Cooke to raise all-female, sterile rainbow trout, also known as steelhead. In order to change the species they are farming, the company must go through a multi-agency, multi-step permitting process. Our role is to consider how the new species may affect the discharges from the operation and what is required to be in the permit to make sure that water quality is protected.

To raise fish in net pens, Ecology requires individual NPDES water quality permits for each facility.The permit is the tool that requires best management practices, monitoring, and reporting to make sure water quality standards are met.

As steelhead are native to Washington, they are not part of the 2018 law phasing out non-native species in marine fish farming by 2022. However, if we modify the permits it will not extend the life of the permits, which expire in 2024. The current permits were originally issued to allow for two years of closure activities and monitoring after the facilities aquatic lands leases from the Washington Department of Natural Resources expire in 2022.

Tips for attending the event

If you can, please register in advance using the registration link. This helps make sure you have any needed software updates taken care of early so you may participate on time.

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  • We recommend you use the Google Chrome browser when signing in.
  • Plan to join us 15 minutes or so before the event begins at 6 p.m.
  • If you register, you will get an automatic email that the event starts at 5 p.m., this time is for staff to get the event set up, please join us at 5:45 p.m.
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Oct. 14, 2020, 6 p.m.
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Laurie Niewolny
Aquaculture Specialist and Permit Coordinator
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Comment period

Draft modified water quality permits to raise steelhead — Cooke Aquaculture Pacific
Closes: Oct. 27, 2020, 11:59 p.m.
See details

To request ADA accommodation, contact Ecology's ADA Coordinator by email at ecyadacoordinator@ecy.wa.gov, or call 360-407-6831, 711 (relay service), or 877-833-6341 (TTY). More about our accessibility services.