Governor Gregoire Signs Important Stormwater Legislation Affecting Fecal Coliform Limits
Last week Governor Chris Gregoire signed two important bills related to stormwater management; the first is HB 2651, the second is HB 2469 (see analysis above). HB 2651 amends RCW 90.48.555 and will require Ecology to modify the Industrial Stormwater General Permit to replace numeric effluent limits for fecal coliform with narrative limits based on best management practices. Ecology has already proposed modifications to the general permit that will implement the legislation when it is effective in July.
In a controversial move in 2009, Ecology imposed numeric limits on over 90 industrial facilities that discharge to water bodies that were not meeting bacteria criteria in the state water quality standards. Many facilities struggled with this issue because in many cases the source of this bacteria is wildlife, particularly birds. Facilities subject to fecal coliform limits should track the proposed permit modifications to ensure compliance with the modified permit when it is issued this summer.
For more information, or to determine how this legislation will impact your facility, contact James Tupper at firstname.lastname@example.org.