Washington State releases draft requirements for Low Impact Development Stormwater Standards



Washington State’s Stormwater Strategy

“The Washington Department of Ecology has released its draft draft plan for beefing up its low-impact development requirements for controlling polluted stormwater runoff — which is considered the top environmental threat to the Puget Sound and many other Northwest lakes, rivers, and streams,” writes Lisa Stiffler on October 12 in her blog posted on Sightline Daily – Northwest News that Matters.

“This policy change is a big deal. It’s trying to solve one of the region’s top environmental and health challenges, perhaps second only to climate change and ocean acidification in importance to our area. And what’s approved in the coming months will be on the books for a long time.”


Process Overview

In 2009-2010, the Washington States Department of Ecology’s Water Quality Program conducted a process to develop definitions and standards for low impact development (LID) stormwater requirements in the Phase I Municipal Stormwater General Permit.

The Pollution Control Hearings Board ruled in August 2008 that the Department of Ecology (i.e. ‘Ecology’) must add requirements to the Phase I permit that apply to local governments covered under the permits.

The Board then ruled in February 2009 that Ecology begin to prepare Western Washington Phase II permittees for future implementation of LID. Ecology convened this stakeholder advisory process to provide input on those requirements.


Advisory Committee Meetings

From October 2009 to August 2010, Ecology conducted a structured and facilitated stakeholder process to provide input on the LID standards. Clickon draft LID proposal outline, and comments on the proposal.

EPA Region 10 funded Ecology to conduct an eight-to-ten month process to take input from two advisory committees: a technical advisory committee and animplementation advisory committee.

Over the next two-year process of reissuing the permits, Ecology will make a decision on LID permit requirements. . Ecology expects to incorporate the standards in the Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington.

The Puget Sound Partnership (PSP) calls for these standards as a priority action in the 2008 Puget Sound Action Agenda. The PSP LID program has led the region in advancing LID.

rain garden

Posted October 2010