WSR 14-03-137
[Filed January 22, 2014, 11:11 a.m.]
Determination of Significance (DS) and Request for Comments on the Scope of an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed use of Imidacloprid on Commercial Shellfish Beds in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor
Note: Public Comment Period:
January 2 through February 15, 2014
Description of Proposal: The Willapa/Grays Harbor Oyster Growers Association (the association) is proposing to use imidacloprid on tidelands to control burrowing shrimp that are impacting commercial shellfish operations. The association has applied for a national pollutant discharge elimination system (NPDES) permit from the Washington state department of ecology (ecology). This permit would authorize and regulate the use of the pesticide imidacloprid on tidelands used for shellfish farming in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor. Ecology anticipates the completion of a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) in order to inform a permit decision. If the proposal is accepted, it will be followed by issuance of a permit. For more information view the web site at
Need for Proposal: The use of imidacloprid is being proposed to control burrowing shrimp on commercial shellfish beds in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor. Burrowing shrimp destabilize the sediment on shellfish beds while also resuspending sediments into the water column. This causes shellfish to sink into the undermined sediment and die, resulting in the inability of shellfish growers to farm historic shellfish beds. Please refer to the web site for more information on the history and background of burrowing shrimp and aquaculture.
Proponent: Willapa/Grays Harbor Oyster Growers Association.
Location of Proposal: Willapa Bay in Pacific County, and Grays Harbor in Grays Harbor County, Washington.
Lead Agency: Washington state department of ecology.
Preliminary Content: Ecology has preliminarily identified the following areas for discussion in the EIS pursuant to the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA): Sediment quality, air quality, water quality, plants, animals, and human health.
A discussion of alternatives could include:
1. No action - which means no permit is issued.
2. Mechanical control of burrowing shrimp only.
3. Alternative chemical control of burrowing shrimp only.
4. Other production methods.
5. An integrated pest management plan which may include both chemical and mechanical control methods.
Purpose of Scoping: Scoping is the public process in which ecology identifies the significant environmental issues and provides notice to the public, other agencies, and affected tribes, that an environmental impact statement (EIS) is being prepared. Through the scoping procedure interested parties can help define the issues the EIS will address, identify alternatives, and provide focus to the EIS.
Agencies, affected tribes, and members of the public are invited to comment on the scope of the EIS. Ecology prefers to have comments submitted by e-mail, but accepts all comments.
Open House and Workshop: An open house and workshop will be held to answer questions, provide information, and accept comments on the scope of the EIS. Following are details on the open house and workshop: February 1, 2014 (10:00 a.m.), Willapa Harbor Community Center, 916 West First Street, South Bend, WA 98586, CORRECTED ADDRESS.
All comments are due by February 15.
E-mail your comments to Derek Rockett at; or mail comments to Derek Rockett, Permit Writer, Department of Ecology, Southwest Regional Office, P.O. Box 47775, Olympia, WA 98504-7775.
E-mail or call with questions, or to add your name to a mailing list Derek Rockett, phone (360) 407-6697, e-mail
E-mail comments must be received by 5 p.m., February 15, 2014. Written comments must be postmarked no later than 5 p.m., February 15, 2014.