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Regulatory Handbook -> Water Quality Permits -> Fresh Fruit Packing General Permit - NPDES

Fresh Fruit Packing General Permit - NPDES

What is the Purpose of this Permit?
This general permit ensures that the wastewater discharged from fresh fruit packing facilities is properly treated as to cause no harm to water quality or to the environment.

This general permit places limits on the quantity, concentration and frequency of discharge of pollutants. It also requires certain operational conditions called Best Management Practices (BMPs). To ensure compliance with these limits and conditions, the general permit requires monitoring and reporting.
Who Issues this Permit?
Department of Ecology
What Activities Require this Permit?
Every new or existing fresh fruit packing facility which receives, packs, stores and/or ships either hard or soft fruit and discharges wastewater, including non-contact cooling water, needs coverage under either this general permit or an individual permit. Facilities that only discharge domestic wastewater or process water to a delegated pretreatment Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) do not need coverage under this general permit.

Any fruit packing facility which is located on the Colville Reservation may apply for coverage for only non-surface water discharges under this general permit. Discharges to surface water on the Colville Reservation are under EPA jurisdiction.

The general permit does not excuse the permittee from complying with any applicable Federal, State, or local statutes, ordinances, regulations or permits.
How Much Will this Permit Cost?
There are no application fees for general permits. The annual coverage fee for the fresh fruit packing general permit is based upon production levels, or in certain circumstances, upon the volume of non-contact cooling water discharged. See Chapter 173-224-040 WAC for current fees
Where Can I Get the Application for this Permit?
The application which is called 'Application for Coverage or Modification of Coverage Fresh Fruit Packing General Permit' is online and can be accessed at https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/summarypages/ecy070153.html.
Do I Need to Include Anything with my Application?
The application should include a line drawing summarizing all wastewater flows in the facility. This should indicate all wastewater sources, wastewater volumes, chemicals used and their concentrations, pretreatment processes, wastewater discharge ID numbers and Treatment/Disposal Methods (TDMs) used as specified in Section E of the application.

Any existing facility previously under this permit and for which no significant process change has occurred or is planned, shall submit to Ecology only the Application for Coverage under this general permit at least 180 days before permit expiration.

Any new facility shall submit to Ecology, at least 90 days before any discharge, the Application for Coverage, an engineering report if a major wastewater treatment system is to be constructed, an Affidavit of Publication certifying that the public notice requirements have been met, and either a certification that SEPA requirements have been met and a copy of the SEPA determination or an explanation of what is being done to comply with SEPA requirements.
Is the Decision on my Permit Dependent on Anything Besides the Information in my Application?
The application should include a line drawing summarizing all wastewater flows in the facility. This should indicate all wastewater sources, wastewater volumes, chemicals used and their concentrations, pretreatment processes, wastewater discharge ID numbers and Treatment/Disposal Methods (TDMs) used as specified in Section E of the application.

Any existing facility previously under this permit and for which no significant process change has occurred or is planned, shall submit to Ecology only the Application for Coverage under this general permit at least 180 days before permit expiration.

Any new facility shall submit to Ecology, at least 90 days before any discharge, the Application for Coverage, an engineering report if a major wastewater treatment system is to be constructed, an Affidavit of Publication certifying that the public notice requirements have been met, and either a certification that SEPA requirements have been met and a copy of the SEPA determination or an explanation of what is being done to comply with SEPA requirements.
How Long Will it Take to Review my Application?
WAC 173-226-200 and RCW 90.48.170: Application for permits shall be made at least 60 days prior to commencement of any proposed discharge or permit expiration date, whichever is applicable.

See the Permit Timeliness Results above for average processing times.
Where do I Submit my Application?
Applications should be submitted to the Ecology Regional Office in which the facility is located. To find your regional office, visit: https://ecology.wa.gov/Regulations-Permits/Permits-certifications/Fresh-fruit-packing-general-permit
How Long is my Permit Valid?
Your General Permit is valid for up to 5 years. Coverage for a facility begins at time of application approval and ends when the General Permit expires or your coverage is revoked. The next term of the Water Treatment Plant General Permit will expire on August 31, 2021. However, Ecology may administratively extend the General Permit past 5 years until the agency has completed the permit renewal process.
What is the Appeal Process for the Permit?
You have a right to appeal this permit coverage to the Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB) within 30 days of issuance of this general permit. The appeal process is governed by Chapter 43.21B RCW and Chapter 173-226 WAC. “Date of receipt” is defined in RCW 43.21B.001(2). To appeal you must do both of the following within 30 days after the date of receipt of issuance of this general permit:

  • File your appeal and a copy of the permit cover page with the Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB) during regular business hours.
  • Serve a copy of your appeal and the permit cover page on Ecology in paper form, by mail or in person. E-mail is not accepted.

Consideration of an appeal of general permit coverage of an individual discharger is limited to the general permit’s applicability or inapplicability to that individual discharger.

    Physical Addresses
    Department of Ecology
    Attn: Appeals Processing Desk
    300 Desmond Drive SE
    Lacey, WA 98503

    Pollution Control Hearings Board
    1111 Israel Road SW, Suite 301
    Tumwater, WA 98501

    Mailing Addresses
    Department of Ecology
    Attn: Appeals Processing Desk
    P.O. Box 47608
    Olympia, WA 98504-7608

    Pollution Control Hearings Board
    P.O. Box 40903
    Olympia, WA 98504-0903
Notes / Comments:
The discharge of pollutants into the state's surface waters is regulated through National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. Ecology issues these permits under the authority of the Clean Water Act as delegated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). General permits, which contain both state and NPDES requirements, are written to cover a category of dischargers, such as fresh fruit packers.

Subject Matter Expert
For more information, please contact:
    Sanjay Barik,
    Technical Unit Manager
    Department of Ecology
    Central Regional Office
    (509) 454-4247
    sanjay.barik@ecy.wa.gov
Permit Timeliness Results

Permit Timeliness data collection is in response to a State Auditor’s Performance Audit and RCW 43.42A. Each regulatory agency developed a plan to improve permit clarity, predictability, and timeliness. Each agency considers the customers experience to ensure permit assistance is simple to use, easy to access, and designed in a customer-friendly manner. Agencies report progress to the Governor’s Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance (ORIA). ORIA prepares and distributes reports, with participation from the State Auditor’s Office and Results Washington. See latest report here: https://www.oria.wa.gov/ORIA-2018-PermitTimelinessProgressReport.pdf.

All permits submitted for reporting were entered into this Regulatory Handbook. Here are the results of the performance data:

Estimated Time Required By the Agency to Process a Permit Application (Definition)
Average number of days from Receipt to Complete: 48
Maximum number of days from Receipt to Complete: 48

Estimated Time Required By the Agency to Issue a Permit Decision (Definition)
Average number of days from Complete Application to Decision: 1
Maximum number of days from Complete Application to Decision: 1

(Summary results based on 1 submittals in 2019)

Where can I get permitting assistance?
Subject matter expert phone: See notes/comments for link to contact.
Statewide Contact:
Department of Ecology
Central Regional Office
15 West Yakima Avenue, Suite #200
Yakima, WA 98902-3452
Telephone: (509) 575-2490
Fax: (509) 575-2809
Website: http://www.ecology.wa.gov/
* Permit information last updated 2/7/2018
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