(1) Purpose. It is ecology's and local air authorities' goal to ensure that accurate permitting information is made available to the public in a timely manner. The permitting authority is responsible for providing notice of permitting actions that allows sufficient time for comment and for providing enough information to inform the public of the extent of the actions proposed. These public involvement regulations establish a statewide process to be followed by all permitting authorities.
(2) Public notice.
(a) The permitting authority shall provide public notice for the following actions:
(i) Issuance of a draft permit or permit renewal;
(ii) Intended denial of a permit application;
(iii) Issuance of a draft permit modification;
(iv) Issuance of a draft general permit;
(v) Scheduling of a public hearing under subsection (4) of this section; and
(vi) Any other related activities that the permitting authority considers to involve substantial public interest.
(b) Public notice shall be provided by the permitting authority in the newspaper of largest general circulation in the area of the facility applying for a permit. Publication includes paid advertisement, legal notice, or other appropriate format, as determined by the permitting authority. The permitting authority may provide additional notice to the public through other methods, such as newsletters and press releases. Notice shall also be published in the Ecology Permit Register
. The permitting authority shall send information on any action requiring publication in the Permit Register
to ecology within three days of the action.
(c) Notice of the activities described in (a) of this subsection shall also be provided to persons requesting to receive such notice. The permitting authority shall maintain a mailing list of persons requesting notice, and may maintain more than one list, such as lists based on geographical location. No request shall require the extension of the comment period associated with the notice. The permitting authority may from time to time inform the public of the opportunity to be on the list and may also delete from the list persons who fail to respond to an inquiry of continued interest in receiving the notices.
(d) Public notice must include:
(i) Name and address of the permitting authority;
(ii) Name and address of the permit applicant, and if different, the name and address of the facility or activity regulated by the permit, unless it is a general permit;
(iii) A brief description of the business conducted at the facility and activity involved in the permit action;
(iv) Name, address, and telephone number of a person from whom interested persons may obtain further information such as copies of the draft permit, the application, and relevant supporting materials;
(v) A brief description of the comment procedures, including the procedures to request a hearing, and the time and place of any hearings scheduled for the permit; and
(vi) A description of the emission change involved in any permit modification.
(e) The permitting authority must make available for public inspection, in at least one location near the chapter 401 source, all nonproprietary information contained in the permit application, draft permit and supporting materials. Public inspections of materials for nonstationary sources or general permits may be located at the discretion of the permitting authority.
(3) Public comment. Except as otherwise provided in WAC 173-401-725
, the permitting authority shall provide a minimum of thirty days for public comment on actions described in subsection (2)(a) of this section. This comment period begins on the date of publication of notice in the Permit Register
or publication in the newspaper of largest general circulation in the area of the facility applying for the permit, whichever is later. No proposed permit shall be issued until the public comment period has ended and the permitting authority has prepared a response to the comments received.
(4) Public hearings. The applicant, any interested governmental entity, any group or any person may request a public hearing within the comment period required under subsection (3) of this section. Any such request shall indicate the interest of the entity filing it and why a hearing is warranted. The permitting authority may, in its discretion, hold a public hearing if it determines significant public interest exists. Any such hearing shall be held at a time(s) and place(s) as the permitting authority deems reasonable. The permitting authority shall provide at least thirty days prior notice of any hearing.
(5) The permitting authority shall keep a record of the commentors and issues raised during the public participation process. Such records shall be available to the public.
[Statutory Authority: Chapter 70.94 RCW. 93-20-075 (Order 91-68), § 173-401-800, filed 10/4/93, effective 11/4/93.]