Public workshops focus on stormwater

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The state Department of Ecology will host a series of workshop meetings in March inviting people to weigh in on proposed changes to Washington’s stormwater rules.

The ecology department is considering modifications to the state’s stormwater rules that would tighten requirements for sampling and controlling polluted runoff. That can be a problem during heavy rain and snow melt events, which sometimes overwhelm drainage systems and send untreated pollutants into lakes, rivers and streams.

Ecology officials will host four public workshop meetings on the proposed rules next month, including a March 6 gathering at Vancouver’s Water Resources Education Center, 4600 S.E. Columbia Way. Workshops will also be held in Moses Lake, Mount Vernon and Seattle. The Seattle meeting includes both a workshop and public hearing.

Written comments may be submitted to the ecology department by email to industrialstormwatercomments@ecy.wa.gov, or by hard copy to Jeff Killelea, Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA.

The new rules could be finalized by May, with an effective date of July 1, according to the ecology department.