Public Notice: Proposed NPDES General Permit for Federal Aquaculture Facilities and Aquaculture Facilities Located in Indian Country in Washington
EPA is proposing to reissue the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Federal Aquaculture Facilities and Aquaculture Facilities Located in Indian Country in Washington.
As proposed, eligible facilities include:
- Concentrated Aquatic Animal Production (CAAP) facilities.
- Non-CAAP facilities.
- Aquaculture research facilities.
- Dam fish passage facilities.
The previous aquaculture general permit (2016 general permit), which was issued on June 9, 2016, and expired on July 31, 2021, covered aquaculture facilities that met the federal definition of a cold water concentrated aquatic animal production (CAAP) facility, with a voluntary provision for non-CAAP facilities to obtain coverage even though the permit was written for larger facilities. Currently, there are 32 facilities covered under the administratively continued 2016 general permit, and EPA is aware of other eligible facilities that are expected to apply for coverage under the draft general permit upon issuance.
The draft general permit includes an upper tier for CAAP facilities, and a specific lower tier for non-CAAP facilities, with less frequent monitoring. Additionally, the draft general permit expands coverage to include facilities growing or holding any aquatic animals, not just cold water finfish, and provides coverage to dam fish passage facilities discharging the fish anesthetic Aqui-S20E.
The proposed aquaculture general permit contains effluent limitations, administrative and monitoring requirements, as well as other standard conditions, prohibitions, and best management practices. The fact sheet (see Administrative Record below) describes the proposed effluent limits and other permit conditions; provides a summary of the supporting technical materials; and includes information about facilities covered under the 2016 general permit.
The Region 10 office of the EPA has tentatively determined to reissue the general permit.
Water Quality Certification
Since the general permit covers all tribal waters in the state, EPA is requesting Clean Water Act section 401 certification from all Washington tribes with treatment as a state under the Clean Water Act, as well as from the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology).
Ecology's public notice of EPA’s request for certification pursuant to section 401 of the Clean Water Act will be available on their website at Public Notices for Section 401 Water Quality Certifications (WQC) & Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Federal Consistency.
Comments regarding Ecology’s intent to certify the general permit pursuant to Clean Water Act section 401 can be submitted at the following link during Ecology’s public comment period between September 27 and October 17, 2022: Federal Aquaculture Permit 401 Certification Comments.
Comments regarding the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation intent to certify the general permit can be sent to Douglas Marconi (email@example.com), Watershed Manager.
Comments regarding the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation intent to certify the general permit can be sent to Glen Connelly (firstname.lastname@example.org), Director of Natural Resources.
Comments regarding the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s intent to certify the general permit can be sent to Robert Knapp (email@example.com), Env. Planning Program Manager.
Comments regarding the Kalispel Tribe of Indians intent to certify the general permit pursuant can be sent to Ken Merrill (firstname.lastname@example.org), Water Resources Program Manager.
Comments regarding the Lummi Nation’s intent to certify the general permit can be sent to Merle Jefferson (email@example.com), Natural Resources Executive Director, and Kara Kuhlman (firstname.lastname@example.org), Water Resources Division Manager.
Comments regarding the Makah Nation’s intent to certify the general permit can be sent to Ray Colby (email@example.com), Makah Fisheries Assistant Director.
Comments regarding the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe’s intent to certify the general permit can be sent to Josh Carter (firstname.lastname@example.org),Environmental Scientist.
Comments regarding the Puyallup Tribe of Indians’ intent to certify the general permit can be sent to Char Naylor (email@example.com), Water Quality Manager.
Comments regarding the Quinault Indian Nation intent to certify the general permit can be sent to Elyse Wulfkuhle (firstname.lastname@example.org), Water Quality Manager.
Comments regarding the Spokane Tribe of Indians intent to certify the general permit can be sent to Brian Crossley (email@example.com), Water and Fish Program Manager.
Comments regarding the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community’s intent to certify the general permit can be sent to Nicole Casper (firstname.lastname@example.org), Water Resources Manager.
Comments regarding the Tulalip Tribe’s intent to certify the general permit can be sent to Kurt Nelson (email@example.com), Environmental Division Manager.
Electronic copies of the draft permit and supporting documents are available below.
- Draft NPDES General Permit #WAG130000 (pdf)
- NPDES Permit Fact Sheet, #WAG130000 (pdf)
- Finding of No Significant Impact for Cassimer Bar Aquaculture Facility Proposal (pdf)
- NEPA Environmental Assessment for Colville Tribal Federal Corporation Recirculating Aquaculture System Demonstration Project (pdf)
Copies and other information may also be requested by contacting Audrey Washington (firstname.lastname@example.org), 206-553-0523.