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Winery general permit

Washington is the second-largest wine-producing state in the nation. We regulate the largest wineries with individually-tailored water quality permits.

Based on discussions and feedback from stakeholders, we are developing a new water quality general permit for wineries. We expect the new permit to mainly affect wineries in Eastern Washington.

Our goals

We are developing a statewide general permit that will cover wastewater discharges from wineries. Our goals include:

  • Establishing waste management practices for wineries to protect groundwater, surface water, and wastewater treatment plants.
  • Building cooperative relationships with winery owners and operators.
  • Gaining a better understanding of the quantity and quality of wastewater discharges from Washington wineries.
  • Learning from permittees what practices and tools they use to effectively manage their wastewater.

When is this happening?

The proposed general permit (PDF), fact sheet (PDF), and supporting documents (see the schedule below) are available for your review and comment. We will also host four workshops and public hearings starting in January.

How to submit comments

We are accepting comments until 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 14, 2018. Comments should point to a specific section or concept. Providing example language, especially if something was worded in a confusing way, is also helpful.

Submit comments:
  • Online via the eComment form. Any information (e.g., personal or contact) you provide on this comment form or in an attachment may be publicly disclosed and is posted on the Internet.
  • By mail to:
    • Stacey Callaway
      Water Quality Program
      Department of Ecology
      PO Box 47696
      Olympia, WA 98504-7696
  • During one of the four public hearings

Workshops & public hearings

We held a series of workshops and public hearings, see the schedule below for when they were held. 

You can download and view the webinar here, note the webinar may take some time to download (105 MB). 

Issuing the permit

The final decision on permit issuance will be made after we receive and consider all public comments. If public comments cause a substantial change in the permit conditions from the original draft permit, another public notice of draft and comment period may ensue. We expect to issue the general permit in the summer of 2018.


Date* Task
Summer 2018 Issue the final Winery General Permit.
Feb. 14, 2018 Close of Comment Period
Time: 11:59 p.m.
Feb. 2, 2018 Public Hearing #4 – In-Person, Bellevue 
Time: 1:30 p.m. 
Location: South Bellevue Community Center 
14509 SE Newport Way 
Bellevue, WA 98006 
Jan. 30, 2018 Public Hearing #3 – In-Person, Prosser 
Time: 10:30 a.m. 
Location: Benton County PUD - Prosser 
                250 Gap Rd 
                Prosser, WA 99336 
Jan. 24, 2018 Public Hearing #2 – Webinar Only 
Time: 6:00 p.m. 

Public Hearing #1 – Webinar Only 
Time: 10:30 a.m. 
Nov. 1, 2017
(We are here)
Begin public comment period
June-July 2017 Meet with the Technical Advisory Group.
June 11, 2017 Last day to submit comments on the Preliminary Draft of the Winery General Permit and Fact Sheet.
April 11, 2017 Begin the 60-day comment period for the preliminary draft of the Winery General Permit
Feb. 2017 Meet with the Technical Advisory Group.
April-Nov. 2016 Meet with the Technical Advisory Group and visit wineries.
May 21, 2014 Announced our intention to develop a general permit for wastewater discharges from winemaking facilities.

*This schedule is subject to change.

More information

To receive updates, notices, and other information, join our winery email listserv.

Questions? Please check our frequently answered questions first. If you don't find what you need, contact Stacey Callaway.

Frequently asked questions

Are there any benefits to being covered by the general permit?
What's the difference between delegated and non-delegated sewage treatment plants?
What is winery process wastewater?
Why is Ecology developing a winery statewide general permit?
Why is winery process wastewater a concern?
Will all wineries be affected by the general permit?

List of delegated publicly owned treatment works

  • City of Spokane
  • Everett
  • King County (South, Westpoint, Carnation, Vashon, and Brightwater)
  • LOTT Budd Inlet and Martin Way
  • Lynnwood
  • Pasco (Municipal and Industrial)
  • Pierce County and Cascadia
  • Quincy
  • Richland
  • Spokane County RWRF, Latah Creek, and co-permittee City of Spokane
  • Tacoma (#1  #3)
  • Vancouver (Marine Park and Westside)
  • Walla Walla
  • Yakima
To receive updates, notices, and other information, join our winery email listserv