Biosolids photo identifier

Event Recycling


Laws and Rules

At the national level, biosolids fall under the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA). Under the CWA, Congress directed the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop standards to regulate biosolids and then to implement those standards in permits. EPA published 40 CFR Part 503 on February 19, 1993. Part 503 contains the primary technical regulations for biosolids management at the federal level. EPA also published Parts 501 and 122. Part 501 describes the standards states must meet if they want to pursue delegation of federal authority, and the process for delegating that authority. Part 122 contains the requirements for state permitting programs. The federal program is self-implementing. This means that even in the absence of a permit, regulated facilities must comply with applicable portions of the regulation. A permit, however, may be used to impose additional or more stringent requirements.

Washington State has its own authority for managing biosolids. The 1992 State Legislature passed a bill into law that became in part Chapter 70.95J RCW, Municipal sewage sludge - biosolids. Chapter 70.95J RCW recognized biosolids as a valuable commodity, and directed Ecology to implement a program that maximizes the beneficial use of biosolids, and at a minimum, meet the federal requirements. The law authorizes Ecology to issue permits and collect fees for permits. Ecology published Chapter 173-308 WAC, Biosolids Management in 1998 and revised the rule in 2007. Like the federal biosolids rules, the state rules are self implementing. The state rules include technical requirements, a permitting program, and a fee program.

Laws, Rules & Permits