Water quality permit
Comment period: Nov. 12 – Dec. 18, 2020
We invite you to comment on the draft reissuance of the Emerald Kalama National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System water quality permit.
How can I comment?
You can submit comments:
- Using the online comment form
- By mail (postmarked by Dec. 18, 2020) to Greg Gould, Industrial Section, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600.
If you'd like a public hearing to provide oral comments, send your request by Dec. 14, 2020, in writing:
If we determine there is significant public interest during this comment period to hold a hearing, it will take place Dec. 17, 2020, starting at 4 p.m., online. We will send notice about our decision to those who've expressed interest in the permit.
After the close of the comment period, we will consider and respond to all comments and make the final decision on modifying the permit.
Closure plan approved
We approved the final closure plan for Emerald Kalama Chemical (Emerald) and Fire Mountain Farms (FMF) to remove delisted hazardous waste from three facilities owned and operated by FMF in Lewis County. This plan outlines how the companies will remove and properly dispose of any wastewater, solids, and contaminated soil during cleaning of the three storage facilities.
Final Closure Plan (PDF)
Emerald's approval letter (PDF)
FMF's approval letter (PDF)
For more information on the closure plan see our public comment notice.
Waste was found to not contain enough harmful chemicals to be considered hazardous
In the spring of 2020, we approved petitions filed by Emerald and FMF in 2018 to change how they manage waste being stored at three locations in Lewis County. The final decision occurred following a public review and comment period that ended Dec. 12. 2019. While state and federal law currently consider the waste to be “listed” as hazardous waste, the companies collected data that shows it does not contain enough harmful chemicals to be considered dangerous.
Emerald Kalama began operating an organic chemical plant in 1962 and currently has about 215 employees at it's Kalama plant. It processes toluene into chemicals for food, flavor, fragrance, and pharmaceutical industries.
- It produces about 194,000 tons of chemicals each year.
- Wastewater from the chemical-making process is treated and sent to the Columbia River. This makes up approximately 2 percent of all the wastewater from this facility.
- About 98 percent of what is sent to the Columbia River is non-contact cooling water.
The Southwest Clean Air Agency regulates the plant's air quality activities. Visit the Southwest Clean Air Agency website or call 360-574-3058 for more information.
Emerald Kalama Contacts
Facility phone: 360-673-2550
Location: 1296 Third St. NW, Kalama, Wash.