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Municipal Stormwater Permit FAQs

We answer questions and clarify key concerns relating to:

(S5) Stormwater management program components

(S9) Reporting

Other FAQs

Education & Outreach

Our behavior change effort is hindered by poor audience participation. Does it still meet my permit requirement?
Does a regional program need to represent the diversity of the jurisdictions to meet permit requirement S5.C.1.c?

Controlling runoff

Can I submit a completed "Review Form Example Template" as my required summary report? Where can I find site/subdivision references for Western Washington Phase II Permit section S5.C.4.a.ii (Phase I S5.C.5.a.ii) in the 2014 amended Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington? If my existing codes are not going to change, do I still need to sort them into three categories? Does the stormwater control timing requirement apply to lots individually, a plat as a whole, or phases of a plat? What does it mean to "organize" the summary into those three categories? What should be in the "other measures to minimize stormwater runoff" category? Does adopting the new Ecology manual take care of the LID development codes requirement? How do I get credit for aspects of my program that already support/require LID? Does my original stormwater plan still apply if the proposed development changes between the original application (subdivision application) and a later application (building permit application)? Which code should be used if a subdivision application puts off addressing stormwater runoff until a development application is submitted for each lot? What is meant by "The summary shall include existing requirements for LID principles and BMPs in development-related codes?" How detailed should I make the list, specifically? What if we haven't finished the adoption process by the time we need to write the summary? Am I out of compliance if we did not make all potential changes identified in the process? Must Shoreline Master Plans and GMA Comprehensive Plans be updated at the same time to comply with the LID code update requirement? What does the State Supreme Court ruling Snohomish County, et al. v. Pollution Control Hearings Bd., et al. mean for development applications submitted after the local codes are updated? What does the State Supreme Court ruling in Snohomish County, et al. v. Pollution Control Hearings Bd., et al. mean for the municipal stormwater permits effective Aug. 1, 2013? When is an engineer required to develop a site plan under the Western Washington permits?

Illicit discharge detection & elimination (IDDE)

Table - Permittee notification & reporting procedures for discharges and spills Are discharges associated with emergency firefighting exempted from G3 reporting? I'm a Phase I county. Do I have to screen 12 percent of my system AND meet the requirement to finish screening my urban/higher density rural sub-basins? Do all municipal stormwater permittees — including secondary permittees — need to follow notification and reporting requirements? If my system increases, should my IDDE field screening methods and performance measure level of effort increase? How should jurisdictions measure the percent of the MS4 they are to screen? How do I report a discharge or spill into or from my MS4? (Permit General Condition G3.) How do I report illicit discharges into or from my MS4 that do not threaten human health, welfare, or the environment? Do I need to notify my regional Ecology permit specialist under S4.F.1 if I already reported a spill under permit condition G3? When do I need to provide G3 notification for "allowable" or "conditionally allowable" discharges? When should I report to Ecology any specific discharges or spills? How should I summarize illicit discharges found by or reported to my jurisdiction? What am I required to report if a spill in my MS4 discharges into another jurisdiction's MS4?

Maintenance & inspection

Where can I find maintenance standards for proprietary devices? Are permittees responsible for inspection and maintenance of private BMPs/facilities that discharge to their system? Can permittees allow a private stormwater facility to use a third party to inspect and to certify their facility? Do drainage systems serving municipal-owned properties need to be included in the Operations & Maintenance program? Are there alternatives to the standard approach of inspecting catch basins annually? When do I have to perform maintenance for projects with capital construction costs of greater than $25,000? How do we define "typical maintenance" and "capital construction"?

Annual Reports: Secure Access Washington & Electronic Signature Account Form (ESAF)

As the responsible official, may I still still sign an annual report after I have delegated signing authority via an ESAF? Do I need to fill out a new ESAF each time I want to delegate my signature? I lost my Electronic Signature Account password. How do I get it back? Do I need to fill out a new ESAF each time I need signature authority delegated to me?

Annual report technical issues

Are there limits for naming the files we attach to the annual report? Do I have to use the separate attachments page to attach multiple files to a single question? How do I upload a file without attaching it to a question? I want to post my annual report to my website. Where can I get my annual report results? I found a mistake after I submitted my annual report. How do I fix it?  I have a lot of very large attachments. Will this cause problems?

Annual reports: numbered questions

Can we use last year's annual report as the basis for preparing this year's report? Should my annual report address activities since the beginning of the permit term or only the past year? What is the difference among Y, N, and N/A answers? Multiple Questions, Western Washington Phase II Continuing, Phase I: How should we answer questions about ongoing programs that will be updated during the permit cycle? Q9: Does this relate to the Stormwater Management Program document I prepared last year? Q12: How should I answer if I haven’t updated the prohibited discharge ordinance/regulatory mechanism yet? Q14: How do I determine what percentage of my MS4 has been screened? Q19 & Q20: Do I click "Not Applicable" if my jurisdictions did not have any illicit discharges to report? Q21 (Phase II Continuing and New) and Q48 (Phase I): Can I submit ERTS records as documentation? Q49c: Can I include catch basins inspected during the previous permit in my total number of catch basins inspected? Q49: Do I answer No or N/A if I did not finish all catch basin inspections? Q59: What is meant by "contributed to the RSMP" for SIDIR? Is this different from "Participated in cost-sharing"? Q16: Should I answer "No" if I am a Phase I permittee operating with an alternative date to adopt the Ecology-approved equivalent stormwater manuals/programs per S5.C.5.a.iii? 

(G19) Certification for all permits:

What is a "principal executive officer" or "ranking elected official"?


Which manual should I use to address stormwater flow control and treatment BMPs/facilities?

Appendix 1: Minimum technical requirements

Can I disregard Minimum Requirement #7 if I achieve the LID Performance Standard?
Is Ecology planning to update/amend guidance for implementing T5.13: Soil Depth and Quality BMP with the recent bioretention soil mix research?

Appendix 2: Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)

Does paying into the Stormwater Action Monitoring satisfy my obligations to conduct TMDL-related monitoring under Appendix 2?