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Chapter 173-208 WAC

Last Update: 6/1/75


WAC Sections

HTMLPDF173-208-030Declaration of policy.
HTMLPDF173-208-050Applications for authorization.
HTMLPDF173-208-060Delegation procedure.
HTMLPDF173-208-070Scope of authorization.
HTMLPDF173-208-080Permits under authorized programs.
HTMLPDF173-208-090Conformity with department rules.
HTMLPDF173-208-100Withdrawal of authorization.
HTMLPDF173-208-110Requirement of program review.



RCW 90.48.165 empowers the department of ecology, as successor to the water pollution control commission to grant to any city, town, or municipal corporation operating a sewerage system including treatment facilities the authority to issue permits for the discharge of wastes into such system, provided that the department finds to its satisfaction that the sewerage system and inspection and control program operated and conducted by the city, town, or municipal corporation will protect the public interest in the quality of the state's water as provided in the Water Pollution Control Act, chapter 90.48 RCW. Permits for the discharge of wastes into publicly operated sewerage systems are required for commercial or industrial operations by virtue of RCW 90.48.160.
[Order DE 75-10, § 173-208-010, filed 4/30/75.]



The purpose of this chapter is to set forth the procedures and criteria for the granting of authority for the administration of the permit program of RCW 90.48.160 as it pertains to waste discharges into publicly operated sewerage systems to the governing bodies of cities, towns, and municipal corporations operating such sewerage systems and receiving into them industrial and commercial wastes as hereinafter defined.
[Order DE 75-10, § 173-208-020, filed 4/30/75.]


Declaration of policy.

(1) The department encourages qualified cities, towns, and other municipal corporations to apply for a grant of authority to conduct and operate a permit system for the regulation of commercial and industrial waste discharges into their sewerage systems in accordance with RCW 90.48.165.
(2) The department is committed to the policy of maintaining the highest possible standards of water quality within the state in compliance with the basic aims expressed in RCW 90.48.010 and national policies and goals expressed by the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, (FWPCAA). The implementation of a permit issuance program by any city, town, or municipal corporation shall be continuously evaluated by the department for compliance with these policies, aims, and goals.
(3) In compliance with the requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), as provided for in the FWPCAA, the department shall maintain its enforcement of compliance of effluent limitation standards upon publicly owned or operated treatment works under their NPDES permits. Under such permit, any municipality granted authority hereunder to administer a permit program as hereinafter defined shall continue to be primarily responsible for its effluent quality according to the terms of such NPDES permit.
[Order DE 75-10, § 173-208-030, filed 4/30/75.]



As used in this chapter:
(1) "Applicant" shall mean that municipality applying to the department for authority to administer the permit program pursuant to RCW 90.48.165.
(2) "Application for authorization" shall mean that application submitted by a municipality seeking permit-issuing authority pursuant to RCW 90.48.165.
(3) "Application to discharge" shall mean that information required from a discharger in acquiring a permit to discharge commercial and industrial wastes into a municipal sewerage system.
(4) "Commercial and industrial wastes" shall mean the wastes, whether solid or liquid, from any commercial or industrial operation, other than domestic sewage.
(5) "Department" shall mean the department of ecology.
(6) "Discharge" shall mean any commercial or industrial operation which results in the disposal of solid or liquid waste material into a sewerage system operated by a municipality which discharges into the public waters of the state.
(7) "Enforcement action" shall mean any administrative or judicial action initiated to achieve compliance with the conditions of a discharge permit, regulations of the department, and water pollution control laws of this state or of the federal government.
(8) "Municipality" shall mean any city, town, or municipal corporation established according to the applicable laws of this state.
(9) "Permit" shall mean the official authorization to dispose of commercial and industrial wastes into waters, to include all regulatory constraints and conditions described therein, issued to a discharger.
(10) "Permit program" shall mean the process of granting or denying by municipalities, authorized as herein provided, of approval of applications to discharge into the sewerage system of such municipalities, the monitoring and inspection of dischargers, and the taking of appropriate enforcement action.
(11) "Sewerage system" shall mean any system operated by a municipality for the collection, transfer, treatment, and disposal of sewage.
[Order DE 75-10, § 173-208-040, filed 4/30/75.]


Applications for authorization.

No particular form shall be required for an application for authorization. No such decision shall be made on any such application, however, unless the applicant supplies to the department:
(1) A request from the municipality seeking authority to conduct a permit program for the discharge of commercial and industrial wastes into its sewerage system in accordance with state and federal water pollution control laws, regulations, and policies as now exist or are hereafter amended.
(2) A listing of all self-monitoring and reporting procedures to be required, and inspection and other regulatory control criteria and procedures applicant intends to use in administering the permit program.
(3) An estimate of the financial resources the applicant will commit to the permit program on an annual basis and the sources of funding therefor.
(4) A commitment showing the number of personnel who will be assigned to the permit program, either on a full-time or part-time basis, broken down by person-years or person-hours or other appropriate measure of personnel usage, and assurances that such personnel commitment is or will be adequately funded.
(5) An assurance that the background, experience and continuing training of personnel to be assigned to the permit program will be sufficient to achieve and maintain the goals and policies of state and federal water pollution control acts.
(6) A copy of the actual or proposed municipal ordinance or resolution intended for use in establishing and conducting the proposed waste discharge permit system.
(7) An outline of the procedures to be used in processing individual permit applications.
(8) Copies of the application for permit and of the proposed permit format.
(9) A description of enforcement procedures to be followed.
(10) A list of all potential dischargers into the sewerage system which will require permits pursuant to any delegation hereunder.
(11) If the applicant is the recipient of a federal grant for any phase of treatment works construction to be utilized by the discharger, it shall demonstrate to the department that it has adopted a system of charges to assure that each discharger shall pay a proportionate share of the costs of operation and maintenance of any waste treatment services provided by the applicant, and further demonstrate that it has made provision for the payment to the applicant by dischargers of that portion of the cost of construction of such treatment works which is allocable to the treatment of commercial and industrial wastes to the extent attributable to the federal share of the cost of construction.
(12) Any additional information required by the department.
[Order DE 75-10, § 173-208-050, filed 4/30/75.]


Delegation procedure.

(1) Upon receipt of any application for authorization, the department shall review such application, and if necessary, require additional information to make a determination thereon.
(2) Upon notification by the department that all information required by it has been received, the applicant shall twice publish notice of the application for authorization in a newspaper of general circulation in the area to which the request relates, providing thirty days for written comments on the request to be received by the department. Such notice shall be in a form provided by the department. In addition to such publication, a copy of such notice shall be mailed by the applicant to the governing body of each sewer district and of general purpose government, all or a portion of which lies within the jurisdictional boundaries to which the request relates.
(3) After review of the completed application and of comments timely received in response to the notice provided for above, the department shall either deny the request, giving its reasons therefor, find that there is sufficient public interest to warrant holding a public hearing on the application, or issue an order approving the same in whole or in part.
(4) If a public hearing is held upon proper notice, the department shall afford interested parties the opportunity to present their views on the application, and, upon review of all information gathered, shall either deny the application or issue an order approving the same.
(5) Any approval order issued by the department hereunder shall contain conditions and restrictions relative to the administration of the permit program and shall be binding upon the municipality so long as such approval remains in effect. Said approval order may subsequently be altered or amended in whole or in part to reflect changes in applicable laws, regulations, or policies relating to water pollution control. The department shall give the municipality thirty days notice of any contemplated amendments, unless an emergency precludes the giving of such notice, and will invite comments from the municipality.
[Order DE 75-10, § 173-208-060, filed 4/30/75.]


Scope of authorization.

(1) Authority granted hereunder shall be limited to the administration of the permit program within applicant's jurisdictional boundaries as now existing or as hereafter changed.
(2) Grants of authority to municipalities hereunder shall be limited to the conduct of a permit program for the discharge of commercial and industrial wastes into a sewerage system and shall confer no authority to issue permits for the discharge of such wastes into surface or groundwaters of the state. Administration of permit requirements for waste discharges other than commercial and industrial wastes entering a sewerage system, shall remain solely with the department.
(3) No authorization made hereunder shall be construed as limiting or abridging the powers or abrogating the duties required of the department. The department may initiate appropriate enforcement action against a municipality to whom authority has been granted hereunder, or against any discharger for violations of any requirements of chapter 90.48 RCW, the FWPCAA, or regulations thereunder.
[Order DE 75-10, § 173-208-070, filed 4/30/75.]


Permits under authorized programs.

Any municipality to which permit authority has been granted hereunder may use its own application and permit forms when the same have been approved by the department.
[Order DE 75-10, § 173-208-080, filed 4/30/75.]


Conformity with department rules.

(1) It is contemplated that various applicants may present to the department differing regulatory criteria designed to cope with particular local needs and conditions. For the purposes of determining whether an applicant intends to administer the permit program in accordance with applicable state and federal laws, regulations, and policies, the department shall evaluate proposed regulatory criteria on the basis of whether such criteria, if implemented, would be at least as stringent as state or federal requirements.
(2) All implementing ordinances or resolutions shall contain a proviso requiring that the permit program as administered by any municipality be revised, as necessary and to the satisfaction of the department, to conform with any changes in applicable rules and regulations which may be adopted by the department or the federal government subsequent to the effective date of the grant of authority. All amendments of implementing ordinances or resolutions shall be submitted to the department for approval prior to passage.
(3) Any municipality granted authority hereunder to administer a permit program shall adhere to, as a minimum requirement for commercial and industrial dischargers, the state or federal pretreatment standards and regulations, as now exist or are hereafter amended. If necessary to impose more stringent standards in order to meet the effluent limitations contained in its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, the municipality shall impose and enforce such stricter pretreatment requirements as necessary to meet these limitations pursuant to the authority preserved to the state by section 510 of the FWPCAA.
(4) Nothing in this grant of authority shall relieve the municipality of its obligation of compliance with the terms and conditions of its NPDES permit or the requirements of state and federal laws and rules pertaining to water pollution control.
[Order DE 75-10, § 173-208-090, filed 4/30/75.]


Withdrawal of authorization.

Whenever the department shall determine that a municipality to which a grant of authority has been made hereunder is not administering the permit system in accordance with an approval order issued hereunder, state and/or federal water pollution control acts and regulations or the applicable implementing ordinance or resolution of the municipality, the department shall notify such local government and, if corrective action is not taken within a reasonable time, not to exceed sixty days, the department by order, shall withdraw the authority. Permits issued under this program shall automatically terminate if the authority to issue the same is revoked by the department and the provisions of RCW 90.48.160 shall apply.
[Order DE 75-10, § 173-208-100, filed 4/30/75.]


Requirement of program review.

It is the objective of the department to place reliance for internal system controls upon any municipality granted authority hereunder and to avoid complex procedures for the measuring and evaluating the effectiveness of a municipal permit system, insofar as is consistent with statutory responsibilities of the department under the provisions of chapter 90.48 RCW. A program review shall be necessary, however, to fulfill those responsibilities and shall be accomplished through the following actions:
(1) The municipality shall immediately provide the department with a copy of each application for discharge, together with a copy of each permit issued thereupon, or notice of denial thereof.
(2) The municipality will devise and submit a quarterly written report to the department within thirty days after the end of each calendar year quarter to reflect the following:
(a) A listing of all permits issued by the municipality during the previous quarter.
(b) A report on the status of compliance by dischargers having permits that incorporate compliance schedules.
(c) A brief narrative covering violations and enforcement actions, if any, occurring during the reporting period, to include specifics as to cause and effect of the violation and preventative measures taken.
(d) Maintain copies of monitoring reports submitted by all permit holders for purposes of inspection by department personnel.
(e) Identification of problem areas or potential problem areas which may be resolved with the assistance of the department.
(3) The municipality and the department shall hold joint staff meetings involving personnel from municipal and department staff no less than semiannually for purposes of discussing functional problems and solutions related to industrial and commercial waste discharge permit systems.
[Order DE 75-10, § 173-208-110, filed 4/30/75.]



Any person aggrieved by a final ruling by a municipality upon an application for a permit or violations of the same under a delegated program may obtain review thereof by filing an appeal, within thirty days, with the pollution control hearings board, pursuant to chapter 43.21B RCW and chapter 371-08 WAC. The defense of any such appeal shall be the responsibility of the municipality.
[Order DE 75-10, § 173-208-120, filed 4/30/75.]