2019-2024 Stormwater Update/Public Comment Opportunity
The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program addresses water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants to waters of the United States. Created in 1972 by the Clean Water Act (33 USC § 1251), the NPDES permit program authorizes state governments to perform many permitting, administrative, and enforcement aspects of the program. In July 2019, the Washington State Department of Ecology issued a new Phase I Municipal Stormwater Permit as authorized under RCW 90.48 and the Clean Water Act. This Phase I Permit is valid until mid-2024 at which time Ecology will issue an updated permit. The 2019-2024 Phase I Municipal Stormwater Permit, including appendices, can be reviewed on Ecology’s website here.
In compliance with the Phase I Permit, the County has:
- Submitted drafts of the County’s enforceable documents to Ecology. The draft documents (provisions of county code and sections of the Stormwater Drainage Manual) are revisions of existing program regulations to reflect new permit requirements. The draft revisions are summarized below.
- Undertaken a distinct code project to implement the started construction requirement of Special Condition S5.C.5.a of the Phase I Municipal Stormwater Permit, including clarification of the Ecology definition of “started construction.” These proposed code amendments were reviewed by the Snohomish County Planning Commission at a hearing on December 15, 2020 (agenda here). The next step for the proposed amendment is County Council review, which is anticipated to occur in the 1st quarter of 2021.
- Periodically notified affected applicants of approved projects and applications subject to a pre-January 22, 2016, version of the County’s drainage regulations that they are impacted. If those projects/applications have not started construction by July 1, 2021, PDS must reevaluate them for compliance with updated drainage regulations the County must adopt by July 1, 2021. This is a requirement dictated by the County’s Phase I Municipal Stormwater Permit, issued to the County by the Washington State Department of Ecology under federal and state law.
Revised draft enforceable documents available for public review and comment:
Summary Tables Submitted to Ecology
Next Steps – Additional Public Comment Opportunities
After Ecology completes their review of these draft documents, the revised stormwater documents will be reviewed by the Snohomish County Planning Commission and then by the Snohomish County Council. Both county reviews will include public hearings. It is anticipated that these review processes will tentatively occur February through May, 2021, prior to County Council adoption. The required effective date for the updated regulations is July 1, 2021. If you have any questions, please contact Terri Strandberg:
Attn: Terri Strandberg, Principal Planner
Snohomish County Planning and Development Services
3000 Rockefeller Ave., M/S 604
Everett, WA 98201