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Water Quality Program

Permit Applications and Forms

Conditional No Exposure (CNE) Certificate

Certain facilities may be eligible for a Conditional No Exposure (CNE) certificate, if they meet the CNE Eligibility Questions below. Eligible facilities apply for a CNE exemption using Ecology’s online CNE application:

CNE Eligibility

You are eligible for a CNE exemption if there is “no exposure” of industrial materials and activities to rain, snow, snow melt, and/or runoff. “No exposure” means that all industrial materials and activities are protected by a storm resistant shelter to prevent exposure to rain, snow, snowmelt, and/or runoff. Industrial materials or activities include, but are not limited to, material handling equipment or activities, industrial machinery, raw materials, intermediate products, by-products, final products, or waste products. Material handling activities include the storage, loading and unloading, transportation, or conveyance of any raw material, intermediate product, final product or waste product.

To obtain a CNE exemption you must answer the eleven questions below and certify that none of the following materials or activities are, or will be in the foreseeable future, exposed to precipitation:

  1. Is anyone using, storing or cleaning industrial machinery or equipment in an area that is exposed to stormwater, or are there areas where residuals from using, storing or cleaning industrial machinery or equipment remain and are exposed to stormwater?
  2. Are there materials or residuals on the ground or in stormwater inlets from spills/leaks?
  3. Are materials or products from past industrial activity exposed to precipitation?
  4. Is material handling equipment used/stored (except adequately maintained vehicles)?
  5. Are materials or products exposed to precipitation during loading/unloading or transporting activities?
  6. Are materials or products stored outdoors (except final products intended for outside use, e.g., new cars, where exposure to storm water does not result in the discharge of pollutants)?
  7. Are materials contained in open, deteriorated or leaking storage drums, barrels, tanks, and similar containers?
  8. Are materials or products handled/stored on roads or railways owned or maintained by the discharger?
  9. Is waste material exposed to precipitation (except waste in covered, non-leaking containers, e.g., dumpsters)?
  10. Does the application or disposal of process wastewater occur (unless otherwise permitted)?
  11. Is there particulate matter or visible deposits of residuals from roof stacks/vents not otherwise regulated, i.e., under an air quality control permit, and evident in the storm water outflow?

Permit Conditions Related to CNE

  • A Permittee is automatically granted a No Exposure exemption 90 days from Ecology’s receipt of a complete and accurate No Exposure Certification Form, unless Ecology informs the applicant in writing or electronically within 90 days that it has denied or approved the request.
  • Ecology will automatically terminate permit coverage when it grants the No Exposure exemption to a permitted facility.
  • Facilities which are granted a No Exposure exemption must submit a No Exposure Certification Form to Ecology once every five years.
  • No Exposure exemptions are conditional. If there is a change at the facility that results in the exposure of industrial activities or materials to stormwater, the facility is required to immediately apply for and obtain a permit.

Anyone with questions about CNE issues should contact the appropriate staff member from the contact list.

Notice of Termination Form

Download a Notice of Termination Form.

Ecology may approve a Notice of Termination (NOT) request when the Permittee meets one or more of the following conditions:

  1. All permitted stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity that are authorized by this permit cease because the industrial activity has ceased, and no significant materials or industrial pollutants remain exposed to stormwater.
  2. The party that is responsible for permit coverage (signatory to application) sells or otherwise legally transfers responsibility for the industrial activity.
  3. All stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity are prevented because the stormwater is redirected to a sanitary sewer, or discharged to ground (e.g., infiltration, etc.).

Public Notice Requirements

New facilities (beginning operations after January 2, 2015) seeking permit coverage and existing facilities seeking modification of permit coverage are subject to public notice requirements, including a 30-day public comment period. Applicants must publish a public notice at least once a week for two consecutive weeks (with seven days between the two publications) in a single newspaper of general circulation in the county where the facility is located. Ecology cannot grant or modify permit coverage earlier than the end of the 30-day public comment period which begins on the date of the second public notice.

The application for coverage (NOI) and modification of coverage forms contain additional guidance, including a template that should be used to complete the public notice requirements.

Transfer Permit Coverage

Coverage under the Industrial Stormwater General Permit can be automatically transfered to a new discharger, if the following conditions are met:

  1. The Permittee (existing discharger) and new discharger submit to Ecology a complete, written, signed agreement (Transfer of Coverage Form) containing a specific date for transfer of permit responsibility, coverage, and liability.
  2. The type of industrial activities and practices remain substantially unchanged.
  3. Ecology does not notify the Permittee of the need to submit a new application for coverage under the general permit or for an individual permit pursuant to Chapters 173-216, 173-220, and 173-226 WAC.
  4. Ecology does not notify the existing discharger and new discharger of its intent to revoke coverage under the general permit. The transfer is effective on the date specified in the written agreement unless Ecology gives this notice.

Download a Transfer Form. Send the completed form to:

Washington Department of Ecology
Water Quality Program - Industrial Stormwater Unit
PO Box 47696
Olympia, WA 98504-7696

For additional information, contact your Permit Administrator.

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