Polluted stormwater run-off is the number one threat to the Puget Sound. Construction sites are one of the major contributors to stormwater pollution, which can convey muddy water, debris, and toxic chemicals into our waterways. When construction sites obtain Washington State’s Department of Ecology’s (Ecology) Construction Stormwater General Permit (CSGP), they are required to implement a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, which puts in place Best Management Practices (BMPs) to control and contain polluted stormwater run-off. This summer, Ecology released draft language to update this critical permit. While Puget Soundkeeper believes some of the changes to the draft permit will lead to progress, the permit could be strengthened through language changes and clarifications, the elimination of a testing exemption for sites smaller than one acre, and requiring the reporting of hazardous chemicals stored on site to Ecology. These changes and more, would greatly reinforce the intent of this permit which aims to comprehensively protect out waterways from stormwater pollution. To view our full list of recommendations we submitted on August 14th, read our full comment letter to Ecology here.
This is not our first time commenting on a stormwater permit to protect our waterways and marine life from harmful pollution. Puget Soundkeeper has a long history of successfully engaging with Ecology on not only the CSGP, but the Industrial Stormwater General Permit, the Municipal Stormwater General Permit, the Boatyard General Permit, and more. Through efforts to strengthen these stormwater permits, we can control the runoff from some of the most polluting industries in the state.