Biosolids permitting and forms

We issue permits and regulate biosolids production and use in Washington.

Fire Mountain Farms biosolids permitting

Comment period: Oct. 15 - Dec. 2, 2020

We invite you to comment on Fire Mountain Farms proposal to approve biosolids operations at five proposed Lewis County sites: Big Hanaford, Burnt Ridge, Homestead, Lincoln Creek, and Newaukum Prairie.

All of these sites have been closed to biosolids Class B land application since 2016 when it was found that a material classified as hazardous waste had been mixed with biosolids. Fire Mountain Farms has now met the requirements needed to apply for coverage under the Biosolids General Permit, including collecting data showing the mixed material did not contain chemicals at levels considered dangerous, and submitted applications. If the proposal is approved, it could begin staging and land applying Class B biosolids as soon as next year on agricultural land. Biosolids long-term storage will be prohibited at all five sites at this time.

How can I comment?

You can submit comments Oct. 15 - Dec. 2, 2020:

  • Using the online comment form
  • By mail (postmarked by Dec. 2, 2020) to Shawnté Greenway, Solid Waste Managment Program, P.O. Box 47775, Olympia, Wa 98504-7775.

Public event

A public hearing took place Nov. 18, 2020.

Next steps

After the comment period ends, we will review all comments received and either approve, deny, or make changes to the proposal.

Cleanup activities at three Fire Mountain Farms sites

Portions of the Big Hanaford, Burnt Ridge, and Newaukum Prairie sites are undergoing closure and cleanup activities related to a mixed material formerly classified as a hazardous waste being stored at all three of the locations.

After collecting data showing the mixed material did not contain chemicals at levels considered dangerous, Fire Mountain Farms and Emerald Kalama Chemical — the co-party responsible for the mixed material — filed petitions in 2018 to change its waste classification to solid waste. This is called delisting. After holding public comment periods, Ecology and the U.S. EPA approved the delisting petitions in April 2020 and Ecology finalized the closure plan in Aug. 2020. It outlines how the companies will remove and properly dispose of any wastewater, solids, and contaminated soil during the cleanup. 

The delisted waste will be moved out of Lewis county to a permitted municipal solid waste landfill.

Biosolids General Permit

Under the biosolids rule, we issue one permit for the whole state, known as a "general permit." The most recent general permit was issued in 2015 and expired Sept. 4, 2020. We're currently developing a new statewide general permit.

Individual applicants receive coverage under this general permit.

Permitting process