Companies and individuals with large pesticide storage and mixing sites had until March 1 of this year to comply with Washington State Department of Agriculture rules designed to protect groundwater from contamination.
Rules originally adopted by the WSDA in 1993 provide for a "phase in" compliance schedule that began March 1, 1994 and extends through 1999. The compliance deadline for permanent pesticide mix/load sites is March 1, 1998. The compliance deadline for permanent fertilizer storage is March 1, 1999. Some requirements for existing facilities must be implemented within one year.
WSDA secondary containment and mix/load site rules require secondary and operational area containment at bulk pesticide and fertilizer storage facilities. They also require operational area containment of pesticides at permanent mixing and loading sites. The rules apply to many agricultural chemical dealers, commercial applicators, and public agencies. Some large farms are also subject to the rules, which are designed to protect against catastrophic spills from large storage tanks and application equipment, as well as small incremental spills over time.
The following are paraphrased definitions for permanent storage facility and permanent mixing/loading sites.
Fertilizer Storage Facility
A fertilizer permanent storage facility is a location at which liquid bulk fertilizer in excess of 500 U.S. gallons or dry bulk fertilizer in undivided quantities exceeding 50,000 pounds is stored, provided that temporary field storage is allowed. Effective March 1, 1999, "temporary field storage" shall mean a primary bulk fertilizer storage container of 10,000 gallons or less that remains in the same location for no more than 21 consecutive days in any six-month period. On or after March 1, 2004, "temporary field storage" shall mean a primary bulk fertilizer storage container of 10,000 gallons or less that remains in the same location for no more than 14 consecutive days in any six-month period. Temporary field storage may be extended upon request by written permit. WSDA shall be notified in writing, upon request, of the physical location of all temporary field storage sites. The definition of "temporary field storage" does not apply until March 1, 1999, when fertilizer permanent storage facilities must be completed. Liquid bulk fertilizer storage containers directly attached to an apparatus for the purpose of fertigation are exempt.
Pesticide Storage Facility
"Pesticide permanent storage facility" means a location at which liquid bulk pesticide in a single container, aggregate quantities in excess of 500 U.S. gallons, or dry bulk pesticide in undivided quantities in excess of 2,000 pounds is held in storage. This applies, provided that mini-bulk containers are exempt from this chapter and that temporary field storage of up to 2,500 gallons of bulk liquid pesticide is allowed for a period of no more than 14 consecutive days in a six-month period at any one location. Temporary field storage may be extended upon written permit by the department, provided further that liquid bulk pesticide containers directly attached to an apparatus for the purpose of chemigation are exempt.
Pesticide Mix/Load Site
"Pesticide permanent mixing/loading site" means a site (location) at which more than 300 gallons of liquid pesticide (formulated product), 3,000 pounds of dry pesticide, or at which a total of 1,500 pounds of pesticides as active ingredients are being mixed, repackaged, or transferred from one container to another within a calendar year. This applies, provided that wood preservative application systems already regulated by 40 CFR, Parts 264.570-575 and Parts 265.440-445 shall be exempt from the definition.
For more information or a copy of the new rules, contact Bill Ritter at (360) 902-2037.
Return to title page April 1998 Agrichemical and Environmental News