Discharges of excess nutrients, particularly nitrogen, to Puget Sound from domestic wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are significantly contributing to low oxygen levels in Puget Sound. As these WWTPs are contributing human sources of excess nutrients to Puget Sound, we must take action to control this pollution.
On Jan. 30, 2020, we announced our decision to move forward with developing a draft Nutrients General Permit in Puget Sound. The proposed Nutrients General Permit would apply to nearly 70 domestic WWTPs discharging to marine and estuarine waters of Puget Sound.
The Nutrients General Permit will focus only on controlling nutrients and work in conjunction with the WWTPs’ existing individual permits. The exact permit conditions are still to be determined, but we will work with stakeholders throughout 2020 to develop a general permit draft. If you have questions about your facility and the proposed general permit, please contact your individual permit writer.
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Permit Advisory Committee
We convened a General Permit Advisory Committee to advise us in drafting general permit requirements for domestic wastewater treatment plants discharging directly to Puget Sound. This Advisory Committee is comprised of regional treatment plant representatives, State Agencies (including Ecology), the EPA, the environmental community, and Tribes.
Over the course of several months, this committee will work to develop a suite of recommendations that will ensure progress towards nutrient reduction during the first permit term. These final recommendations will inform permit conditions that will be released for informal public comment in the preliminary draft. We are hopeful to release a full formal draft for public comment at the end of 2020, with the goal of permit issuance in 2021. The actual date of permit issuance will depend on the comments received during the formal public comment period.
Individual permits reissued during the Nutrient General Permit development period will contain facility specific nutrient requirements. For WWTPs who would like more information on how this will impact your individual permit, please contact your permit writer.
As we develop draft permit documents they will be availible here.
- Public comments from our preliminary determination to develop Nutrients General Permit.