Background on the Reissuance of the Western Washington Municipal Stormwater Permits
The Western Washington Phase I and Phase II permits expire on July 31, 2018. After careful consideration of many factors, we have decided to extend the current (2013-2018) Western Washington permits for one year.
The permits will reissue on July 1, 2019, and become effective on Aug. 1, 2019.
- The extension will allow us to consider information from ongoing research on effectiveness of stormwater management actions, as well as conduct a review of submittals on permit requirements that are due late in the current permit cycle.
- The extension will allow for more time to engage with the public and stakeholders during the process of permit development.
- Extending our permit cycle will allow us to reissue the Western and Eastern Municipal Stormwater Permits at the same time, ensuring an inclusive process for the whole state.
In accordance with WAC 173-226-220(3), the current (2013-2018) permits will remain in effect during the extension for all permittees who reapply on-time
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions
on the permit extension and continuing program implementation — primarily for Phase II — although there is applicable overlap with Phase I requirements.
We developed preliminary draft permit sections for the Phase I and Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permits. Preliminary draft sections of the Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington (SWMMWW) are also available.
Preliminary draft sections:
Municipal Stormwater Permit sections
Long-term municipal stormwater planning
- Phase I
- Phase I & Phase II
SWMMWW (in web format)
We accepted comments on the preliminary draft sections until Jan. 19, 2018. We accepted comments on the “long-term municipal stormwater planning document" until Feb. 2, 2018.
This was an informal comment period; we did not respond to the comments received, but are taking them into consideration in developing the formal drafts of the permits. The formal drafts are anticipated to be available for comment in summer of 2018.
View the submitted comments.
Public meeting on preliminary drafts
We held an informational meeting (with webinar option) on:
Oct. 12, 2017 at 1 p.m.
Department of Ecology
300 Desmond Drive, Lacey
We held an (in-person) meeting to discuss watershed planning:
Dec. 11, 2017 from 1 - 3:30 p.m.
949 Market St.
Tacoma, WA 98402
Watershed-scale stormwater reports
Phase 1 County’s and participating Permittees developed watershed-scale stormwater plans during the 2013-2019 permit term, these will help to inform the next steps for the watershed effort.
King County’s watershed-scale stormwater plan is due in April 2018 and will be posted here when received.
Early input and past public meetings
Considerations for initial reissuance input
When we heard there was interest in providing early input on permit changes, we provided the following considerations to help frame the comments:
- No backsliding permit requirements.
- Consider status of implementation. Several requirements from the 2013 permits are just beginning to be fully implemented. Consider whether additional implementation time will provide clearer direction for potential future permit changes.
- Provide suggestions on permit changes that will:
- Improve understanding/clarity of the requirement
- Improve implementation
- Lead to better water quality results
- Thoughts on whether (and how) to combine the Phase I and WWA Phase II permits.
- Suggestions for requirements in the permit that do not easily roll into the next permit cycle (e.g. LID code updates, and watershed-based stormwater planning).
- Provide rationale or justification for any proposed changes or suggestions.
- Provide relevant data sources or literature if this supports proposals for revisions.
- Provide input about existing permit language that you view as an impediment to implementation.
- While always helpful, exact permit language is not necessary.
Ultimately, we are responsible for administering and issuing the permits and will make final decisions on permit language. This early and continuing input will help to inform those decisions.
Past public meetings
We held three public meetings on specific permit topics in February and March 2017. We used the early input we received in fall of 2016 as the foundation to generate further discussion and receive broader input.
Summary notes from each of the meetings are posted below.
Feb. 23, 2017 - Summary Lynnwood meeting notes
Lynnwood Convention Center
March 2, 2017 - Summary Lacey meeting notes
Lacey Community Center (also held via webinar)
March 14, 2017 - Summary Vancouver meeting notes
In Oct. 2016, stakeholders provided early input to identify areas of the permits that need clarification or improvement. While the early input is informal and responses won't be prepared, we are reviewing input closely and greatly appreciate the time and energy involved in providing it. These early efforts demonstrate a shared commitment to protect and restore Washington's waters.
We have compiled the informal early input received on permit reissuance