Permit history & FAQ

We spent four years working with stakeholders to develop the Winery General Permit. The permit was issued on May 17, 2018, goes into effect on July 1, 2019, and expires on July 1, 2024. You can find a summary of our public and stakeholder involvement below. 

Also, we have included some frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help explain the process and help industry professionals comply with the permit. 

History

Since 2014, we have worked closely with Washington’s wineries and industry experts to get to know Washington’s diverse wine industry. We learned about wineries’ current waste management systems and listened to concerns about complying with a new permit. Based on these discussions and feedback, we developed the Winery General Permit and Fact Sheet.

We worked closely with a technical advisory workgroup comprised of winery owners (both large and small) and industry experts. In addition, we conducted surveys of the wine industry, presented to several different stakeholder groups, and toured and interviewed dozens of wineries. All of this input was crucial to the development of the draft general permit.

We understand that permit requirements can add a financial burden to businesses. Based on the input we received, we took action to reduce these costs by adjusting permit requirements.

Some of these changes included:

  • Reduced sampling and reporting requirements.
  • Limiting who is required to apply for a permit, for example, small wineries and those discharging to designated treatment plants.
  • Phasing in some permit requirements.

Public comment & review

In April 2017, we shared a preliminary draft and invited input from the public during a 60-day comment period. We took the feedback, made improvements to the permit, and in November 2017, shared the formal draft of the general permit and other permit development documents. An extended comment period (100+ days) was offered to allow wineries ample time to review the permit development documents.

We also hosted a total of four public hearings. The hearings were located in Central Washington, near Seattle, and online in the form of webinars for those unable to travel. The feedback we received was constructive, helpful, and even positive. The comments and our responses to them are located in the Fact Sheet - Addendum Response to Comments.

Old draft permit documents 

Previous focus sheets

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

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