Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Washington DEQ proposes permit changes to allow easier aquatic plant control

The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is now accepting public comments on proposed changes to its Aquatic Plant and Algae General Permit, which would reduce the amount of paperwork during the application process and streamline the environmental review procedure.

The permit allows holders, typically homeowners, homeowner associations, licensed applicators and local governments, to control aquatic plants like Eurasian watermilfoil and algae blooms. Milfoil can affect lake health as it grows in large mats, which are also a danger to swimmers and boaters. Toxic algae blooms can cause illness in the young and elderly and can kill pets. To reduce these blooms, Aquatic Plant and Algae General Permit holders can use algicides and phosphorus-inactivation.

 Local governments and licensed applicators benefit from the permit beyond lakeshores, as it allows them to apply treatments on roadsides, ditch bands and at flood-control structures.

Ecology is accepting public comments on the proposed permit changes until December 18 and it has a public hearing and workshop scheduled for December 7 to explain the revisions. The hearing will be in Olympia, but will also be available online as a webinar.

Organizations in this Story

Washington Department of Ecology

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