Department of Ecology News Release - September 21, 2016

Yellow flag iris is toxic to humans and livestock.
Yellow flag iris is an example a noxious weed that Washington landowners manage with this water quality permit.

Updating the aquatic noxious weed permit
Permit protects water health during control of invasive weeds

OLYMPIA – The public is invited to comment on updates being proposed for the state’s aquatic noxious weed control permit, which allows the use of herbicides to control invasive, non-native plants that are so aggressive they harm our local ecosystems or disrupt agricultural production.

Noxious plants crowd out the native species that fish and wildlife depend on. They also cost farmers, orchardists and ranchers millions of dollars in control efforts and lost production – and can make the food we buy more expensive.

The permit covers the indirect discharge of herbicides, adjuvants and marker dyes into estuaries, marine areas, wetlands, along lake shorelines, rivers, streams and other wet areas to manage freshwater noxious weeds in Washington. An indirect discharge occurs when there may be incidental overspray or dripping of a chemical from the treated plants into waters of the state.

Most changes to the permit are minor, according to the Department of Ecology permit writer, Nathan Lubliner. Under the proposed changes, the permitting process would be streamlined to make the Department of Agriculture the sole permittee. Landowners would apply to work under the permit through the Department of Agriculture. Currently, landowners can apply to the departments of Agriculture or Ecology.

The updated permit also would allow an alternative sign-posting requirement to inform the public when lands are treated for Spartina, an aggressive, non-native plant that invades and overtakes native vegetation in mud flats, salt marshes and beaches.

Ecology will hold an in-person and webinar public workshop and hearing at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27, in its Lacey headquarters building. You may comment at the public hearing or online by Nov. 4. If you have questions you may contact Nathan Lubliner at nathan.lubliner@ecy.wa.gov o or 360-407-6563.

Learn more about noxious weeds online.

CoContact:

Sandy Howard, communications, 360-407-6408, @ecologyWA