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Washington State Department of Ecology proposes to issue Brightwater permits

The Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) invites public discussion and comment on two draft permits it proposes to issue to King County's Wastewater Treatment Division for the Brightwater Treatment Plant system located outside of Woodinville.

The permits would become the plant's first water quality operating permits.  King County plans to begin operating the facility while the five-year permits are in effect.  Brightwater would become the state's largest wastewater plant to use a membrane bioreactor, an advanced treatment process.

Ecology's draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for King County's Brightwater wastewater treatment plant would authorize the discharge of treated wastewater from the plant to central Puget Sound.  Ecology has also issued a draft Reclaimed Water permit for production, distribution and use of reclaimed water for irrigation, commercial and industrial uses. Ecology seeks public comment on both of the proposed draft permits, which are key tools to provide critical water quality protection for Puget Sound.

The public comment period on the proposed permits extends through May 23.  Written comments may be sent to Tricia Miller, Permit Coordinator, Department of Ecology, 3190 160th Ave. SE, Bellevue, WA. 98008-5452 or via e-mail to: tmil461@ecy.wa.gov, with "Brightwater Permit Comments" in the subject line.

Ecology will host an informal presentation and a formal public hearing on the two proposed permits at 6 p.m. May 16 at King County's Regional Library in Woodinville.  A presentation on the permits - open to audience questions - will begin at 6 p.m. A formal public hearing to receive written or oral testimony on the NPDES permit will begin at 7:15 p.m. The formal public hearing on the reclaimed water permit will begin at 8 p.m.

The proposed permits and related information are available online at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/permits/northwest_permits.html (scroll down to King County -  Brightwater) and at Ecology's Bellevue office via mail request (at the address above) or by phone, (425) 649-7201.

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