The Western (2013-2018) and Eastern (2014-2019) Washington Eastern Municipal Stormwater permits require that permittees submit their annual reports online.
The first thing you'll need to do is determine who will do what in your organization. In the WQWebPortal there are four possible roles: Coordinator, Administrator, Signer, and Preparer. You will need one or more people to perform the following responsibilities:
- Coordinator or Signer to sign off on, and submit, the final report.
- Coordinator or Administrator to manage the people working on the report.
- Coordinator, Administrator, Signer or Preparer to fill in the annual report.
Note that only a Coordinator can do all three. Depending on how your organization is structured you may have one person performing all three responsibilities, a separate person for each responsibility, or multiple people for each.
In any case, there are three parts to filling in the annual report that your organization will have to follow:
Prepare and Submit Annual Report
Part 1 includes all of the following, and Part 2 includes just steps 1, 2, and 3:
- Create an account with Secure Access Washington.
- Create an account in the Water Quality Web Portal.
- Select roles in the Water Quality Web Portal.
- Create an Electronic Signature Account in the Water Quality Web Portal.
- Fill out the Electronic Signature Account Form.
- Invite (optionally) additional preparers and/or administrators.
Part 3 includes just two steps:
Step 1 - Secure Access Washington
Secure Access Washington, or SAW, is the portal used to access state government. Each individual person who will work on, or sign, the annual report must have a SAW account. If you already have a SAW account, you can skip forward to Step 2.
Your Signer/Coordinator must go through steps 1 through 6 before anyone else.
To get a SAW account:
- Go to the SAW website. You can also enter “secure access” into your search engine.
- Complete the six-part sign-up sequence by creating a new account.
Important Note: If you are going to be signing the permit (see Step 3), you will create another password for your signature account. Make sure that you choose a password for SAW that you can reuse for your signature account. The signature account requires a password of at least eight (8) characters, and all of the following:
- An upper case character;
- A lower case character;
- A number; and
- A special character, including but not limited to ~!@#$%^*-=+?.
- Enter your information including your name and email address.
- You will receive an email confirmation. Click the link in the email.
Next Step is to add the Water Quality Web Portal service.
Step 2 - Water Quality Web Portal
Everyone who created a SAW account must then link that account to the Water Quality Web Portal, or WQWebPortal, service.
- Login to your SecureAccess Washington Account.
- Click on “Add a new Service”.
- Click on Department of Ecology in the list on the right.
- Look for “Water Quality Permitting Portal (WQWebPortal)” and click “Apply” in the left column.
Now when you log into SAW, you should see "Water Quality Permitting Portal (WQWebPortal)" in the list of services.
Next Step is to create roles for each SAW/WQWebPortal account.
Step 3 - WQWebPortal Roles
As discussed at the top of the page, each WQWebPortal account has a role. The role determines what you can do with the account:
- Preparer - Edit the report
- Administrator - Edit the report AND invite new preparers
- Signer - Edit the report AND sign the report
- Coordinator - Edit the report, sign the report, AND invite new preparers, administrators, or signers
You will need someone to sign the report when you're finished, so at least a signer or a coordinator is required.
Section G19 of the MS4 permit requires that all formal submittals be signed by an executive officer, ranking elected official, or duly authorized representative of the designated person. Whoever is the signer or coordinator for your permit will have to either already have the authority to sign the report, or be delegated the authority to do so.
At this point there are two options. Choose just one of the following:
- If only one person will prepare and then sign the report, you can move forward with the signer option.
- If the report is for a jurisdiction where two or more people will work on the report, such as one person to prepare it and another to sign it, move forward with the coordinator option.
Step 3A: Signer Option
For the single signer option just one person will receive permission in WQWebPortal to modify, sign, and submit the annual report.
- Under the My Services tab, click the Water Quality Permitting Portal (WQWebPortal).
- Click the “Permit Submittals” link on the portal home page.
- Choose the Facility Signer role for yourself, and click "Continue".
- Select Create Electronic Signature Account.
Step 3B: Coordinator Option
For the coordinator option, one person (someone with G19 signatory authority, either delegated or not) will sign the annual report, and that person will invite additional people to fill in the annual report. Optionally, the signer will designate an administrator, who will coordinate inviting additional people on their behalf; this option may be best suited to larger organizations.
- Determine who in your jurisdiction will sign the annual report. This person does not have to have G19 (signature) authority already; the authority can be delegated during this process. Only the designated signer should follow the steps below; there is an future step where additional Preparers will be added to the permit.
- The signer must log into WQWebPortal, then under the My Services tab, click the Water Quality Permitting Portal (WQWebPortal).
- Click the “Permit Submittals” link on the portal home page.
- Choose the Facility Coordinator role for yourself, and click "Continue".
- Select Create Electronic Signature Account.
Next Step for Part 1 is to create an Electronic Signature Account.
Next Step for Part 2, once all preparers have accounts, is to start filling out the Annual Report.
Step 4 - Electronic Signature Account
All Signers and Coordinators will need to fill in the Electronic Signature Account Form, or ESAF. This form proves that the electronic account belongs to someone with the authority to sign the annual report.
- After creating a signature account in Step 3, choose a user ID and a password. Ecology recommends that you reuse your password from Step 1.
- Select five (5) security questions to answer, and choose responses that you will recall in the future. You will be asked the security questions again when you log in, and your answers must match the answers you give here.
- Fill in your profile information, and submit.
- At this point you will receive an email from CROMMERUserNotification@ecy.wa.gov; attached to that email will be PDF titled Electronic Signature Agreement Form (ESAF).
Next Step is to fill in the ESAF.
Step 5 - Electronic Signature Agreement Form
Anyone who signs a submittal, like the Annual Report, through WQWebPortal is required to complete and return to Ecology an Electronic Signature Agreement Form, or ESAF. This "wet ink" process is required by the federal Environmental Protection Agency for electronic reporting.
There are nine (9) boxes in the ESAF. Not all of them are required.
- Box 1: Fill in this box with information about your jurisdiction, using your city hall or equivalent location for your "Site Location Address".
- Box 2: Fill in this box with information about the person who will be signing this annual report.
- Box 3: For Proof of Identity, Ecology recommends that MS4 permittees submit a signature authority delegation letter (last bullet). This letter should be on your organization's letterhead, and it should be signed by someone with signing authority (see Section G19 of your permit, and some additional guidance available in the MS4 permit FAQ). If you already have a letter on file with Ecology, include a copy with the form; if you do not, you may be delegated signing authority by including a copy of a new delegation letter with the ESAF.
- Box 4: Your electronic signature is for "Discharge Monitoring Reports/Submittals".
- Box 5: Read the certification statement in Box 5; no action required.
- Box 6: Initials are required in both sides of the smaller box, and your name must be printed on the line. Note that by initialing this box, you agree that you will not share your electronic signature account with anyone else, including secretaries, delegated signers, etc.
- Box 7: The signature here certifies that you read, understood, and agreed to everything listed above.
- Box 8: If you attach a delegation letter that is properly signed by a responsible official, per Box 2, you should leave this box blank, despite the warning about a handwritten signature.
- Box 9: This optional box allows you to designate an administrator. This is a convenience only, as you can also delegate administrator(s) in the WQWebPortal (if you have the coordinator role).
Once you have filled in the ESAF, mail it to Ecology per the last page of the form. Note that the Municipal Stormwater permits are processed at the Ecology regional offices. Follow the mailing instructions "For all other permits"; do not follow the instructions for "Stormwater Permit Facilities - Industrial and Construction Stormwater."
Email confirmation of your ESAF from Ecology can take up to two weeks, but is often complete in less than one week. The email will include instructions and a link to activate your account.
Step 6 (Optional) - Invite Preparers or Administrators
If you are following the Coordinator path (more than one person preparing the annual report), after you activate your account you may want to invite additional Preparers or Administrators to work on the annual report.
Step 6A: Signer Option
No action. Go to Step 7 and start filling in the Annual Report.
Step 6B: Coordinator Option
- Sign into SAW, then follow the link to the WQWebPortal.
- Click on "Permit Submittals" in the gray box on the right.
- Along the top, click on the tab titled "Assign Users".
- In the new page your permit should appear. To the left of the page, click on "Assign Users".
- A table with five columns should appear. Fill in the First and Last Name, Email Address, and
User Role columns (see Step 3 for a description of the roles), then click "Add".
- The owner of the email account you entered will get an email notifying them that they have been granted
access to the WQWebSumittal application. The email will also include details about the specific permit
to which they have been given access, and how to log into WQWebPortal.
- Repeat this process for everyone to whom you wish to grant access.
- If you invite someone with the Administrator role, that person will be able to invite new people as well.
You can invite one administrator, and have the administrator invite any other people necessary for
filling in the permit.
The emails received by the new users that you invite will have directions that will take them through Steps 1-3, above.
Step 7 - Complete the Annual Report
Once the SAW and WQWebPortal accounts are set up, anyone with access can start working on the annual report. A YouTube video is available to help with this process.
- In the WQ Permitting Portal, click on Permit Submittals under the "Submit data for" box.
- In Permit Submittals select the "My Permits" tab.
- Under Action, click on "Submittals".
- Your Annual Report should appear in the "Scheduled Submittal Search" tab. Click "Edit" to begin filling out the report.
- Complete all of the questions in all of the categories. Your answers will be automatically saved as you navigate through the categories. Do not click the "Back" button in your browser. Use the buttons and links to navigate.
- To manage uploaded files, and upload new files, use the Attachments box (details on our
- Click "Attachments" in the lower left corner of the categories page.
- Add additional files to the annual report (not associated with any particular question) by using the "Attach Additional Files for Submission" for in the blue/gray box.
- View or delete files that you previously uploaded using the table in the blue/gray box.
- Files uploaded by answering a question have both the question number and the date/time added to their file names, in this format: "filename_question_date_time.extension". For example, "testfile_1_04042015_1030.pdf" is a PDF file (.pdf), uploaded to answer Question 1 (_1_), on April 4, 2015 (_04042015_) at 10:30 (_1030).
The Annual Report form allows you to save your progress at any point, log out, log back in, and continue working. You do not have to complete all of the questions at once.
Next Step is to submit the completed annual report.
Step 8 - Submit the Annual Report
After all of the questions have been filled in on the annual report, the final step is to submit the report to Ecology. There is a YouTube walkthrough available for this step as well.
The steps below can be completed by anyone who can edit the annual report.
- On the "Categories" page of the annual report, click "Validation" in the bottom left corner of the page when you are done to verify that you’ve correctly filled in all of your questions.
- If any questions are listed in the validation page, return to the appropriate categories to provide answers, save your work, then click "Validation" again.
- Mark the annual report as ready to submit using the checkbox in the bottom right of the page.
Step 8A: Signer Option See It
There are fewer steps to submit for a signer than for a coordinator.
- Once you've marked the annual report as ready to submit, click on "Save and Done".
Step 8B: Coordinator Option See It
The coordinator option assumes that an administrator or preparer will complete the validation steps above. WQWebPortal can alert the coordinator or signer by email that the annual report is ready to submit.
- Once you've marked the annual report as ready to submit, click on "Notify Signer".
- The new page will give you one or more options of coordinators or signers to notify. Put a check in the box(es) next to the person or people you want to receive an emailed notification, then click Send.
The rest of the submittal signing can only be completed by a coordinator or signer.
Whichever path you followed above should take you back to the main Submittals page for your permit. From here:
- Click "View" to see all of the responses and attached files. Review the annual report until you are confident it is sufficiently accurate to submit to Ecology, then close the View window.
- Check the box under "Submit" for the annual report, then click on "Sign Selected Permits".
- Click "Continue".
- On the Review Submittals page, you can click View to review all attached documents that will be submitted to Ecology; this should be identical to step one above, except that questions and answers are not visible.
- Click "Log into Signature Account".
- Using the User Name, Password, and Security Questions/Answers that you established in Step 4, log into your account, then click "Ready to Sign".
- Check both boxes in the Signatory Attestation, and click Sign. This indicates that you have read all the text, and understand the legal consequences of submitting the annual report to Ecology.
- The message "Your submittal(s) is being processed" will appear on your screen. Do not navigate away or close the window while this message is being displayed.
- One the submittal has been successfully processed, you will see a confirmation page, and you will receive a confirmation email. This indicates that you successfully submitted the annual report to Ecology.
There are no further steps; you are done!