The Winery General Permit is now effective. Ecology issued the Winery General Permit on May 17th of last year, but delayed the effective date to give potential permittees extra time to prepare for the new regulation. The effective date was also delayed to coincide with the recent adoption of the revised Permit Fee Rule (Chapter 173-224 WAC).
Wineries that meet the applicability requirements outlined in Special Condition S1 of the Winery General Permit have 90 days (until September 30th) to apply for permit coverage using the online permit portal. Wineries under 7,500 cases/produced a year are exempt from permit. Also, wineries in urban areas that have their wastewater system connected to a delegated point-of-treatment system are exempt from permit.
The Washington Wine Institute worked with Ecology and wine industry wastewater experts for more then four years on developing the permit. While still complicated, the final version of the permit is a tremendous improvement from where it started in 2015. Finally, the permit fees are significantly lower then what Ecology originally proposed. We will continue pushing Ecology to lower these costs as they learn how much resource is needed to permit and regulate these new winery wastewater rules.
If you have any questions, please contact the Ecology staff listed on the permit webpage.