Submit comments before November 14th to protect Puget Sound.

Polluted stormwater runoff is the number one source of toxic pollution into Puget Sound.

Amongst the tragic headlines about our Southern Resident orcas and the decline of Chinook and Coho salmon, we have an opportunity to take action. Key legal protections for clean water are up for review by the State.

Every five years, the Washington Department of Ecology issues municipal Clean Water Act permits that spell out requirements for our cities and counties to manage polluted runoff. Ecology is issuing new stormwater permits for 2019-2024, and they need to hear from you.

Tell the Department of Ecology that we need strong stormwater permits to better protect Puget Sound communities, salmon, and orcas.

Submit comments asking Ecology to strengthen the new draft permits in four key areas to ensure the best outcomes for Puget Sound and the communities that depend on it:

  1. Focus on Environmental Justice: Ecology must eliminate incentives that continue the flow of resources and progress into wealthier, whiter neighborhoods while ignoring those communities most affected by stormwater pollution and most in need of investments in infrastructure and green solutions. 
  2. Increase Government Transparency: Ecology should ensure that cities and counties are required to undertake meaningful, inclusive public engagement as they draft watershed plans and make decisions that will directly impact our communities. 
  3. Close Loopholes for Developers: Current loopholes allow developers to skirt past requirements for low-impact development (LID) in big projects. LID is essential for protecting water quality from toxic stormwater runoff.
  4. Fix Mistakes of the Past: Puget Sound can’t wait another 5 years while we plan – the time to act is now. Many areas around Puget Sound were built before current stormwater protections were put in place. Ecology should require all cities and counties to make retrofits during the new permit cycle, fixing areas that don’t have stormwater controls.

The municipal stormwater permits are the most direct way to reduce the threat of toxic stormwater runoff throughout our region. We must strengthen stormwater permits to stop the decline of our iconic Puget Sound orcas and salmon and continue working toward a healthy estuary for all to enjoy.

Soundkeeper is working with partners to get the strongest possible protections for our shared waterways. Sign on to our group comment letter to submit your comments now to Ecology. Puget Sound needs your voice.

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