County seeks one-year extension on transfer station improvements
June 15, 2012 · Updated 7:12 PM
By Steve Wehrly, Journal reporter
The Sutton Road transfer station faces closure if San Juan County doesn't establish a functional storm water treatment system for the drop-box facility by Sept. 30, as required under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit issued by the state Department of Ecology.
The original order requiring the county to obtain the permit was issued in April, 2009. One extension, dated July 22, 2011, was granted extending the deadline to Sept. 30, 2012.
The county's Department of Public Works estimates the cost of compliance at roughly $250,000.
Public Works has been working since last November to create and implement a new system for handling solid waste after voters rejected the County Council's 2011 proposal for a parcel fee to fund past, present and future waste collection and disposal.
Among department director Frank Mulcahy's current projects: find private operators for waste and recycling handling stations on Orcas and San Juan islands; help local citizens on Lopez Island create and implement (and pay for) their own solid waste disposal district and recycling/reuse facility; negotiate a major expansion of curbside waste and recycling collection services for the entire county with San Juan Sanitation; and, negotiate a new lease on the town-owned solid waste drop-box facility on Sutton Road.
As a former Navy officer, Mulcahy knows about following orders. And he also knows the Sutton Road drop-box could be closed if the potential for pollution from rainwater runoff is not resolved.
So, with everything that's happening right now, Mulcahy is asking DOE for a one-year "extension of the deadline to complete Level 3 Corrective Actions - Stormwater Treatment Best Management Practices," as stated in a notice published in the Journal.
Mulcahy says he's hopeful the time limit for corrections will be extended, but he can't be sure. "It's up in the air right now," he said.
The notice asks for public comment in writing to the DOE in Olympia. Send comments to: Washington Dept. of Ecology, Water Quality Program - Industrial Stormwater, PO Box 47696, Olympia, WA 98504-7696.