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State seeks input on rules governing organic waste

Responding to odor complaints and controlling agricultural pests are some of the proposals Washington state is considering.

Yakima will be the site of one of two public meetings where officials from the state's Department of Ecology will seek public input on the proposed changes to rules on handling organic waste.

That meeting will take place Thursday, Oct. 25, at 1:30 p.m. at the Department of Ecology's office in Yakima at 15 W. Yakima Ave.

The day before, Oct. 24, the state will hold a similar meeting in Bellevue at 1:30 p.m. at 3190 160th Ave. SE.

The proposed amendments to WAC 173-350, the "Solid Waste Handling Standards" chapter, include requirements to:

- Improve environmental performance of large scale composting facilities by adding requirements that they plan for response to odor complaints.

Other requirements under consideration for large scale operations include personnel training and addressing site management in product storage areas.

The rules under discussion also address:

- Helping to protect long-term markets for compost products by improving compost quality.

- Allowing for new, innovative methods of handling organic materials, including permit exemptions.

- Encouraging development of small facilities through expansion of conditional permit exemptions.

- Adopting permit exemptions for qualified anaerobic digesters.

- Describing permit requirements for non-exempt digesters.

The proposed rule language and related documents are available for review at: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/laws-rules/wac173350/1006.html

The comment period ends at 5 p.m. on Nov. 2, 2012. Official comments can be provided in any of the following ways:

1. Testify or submit written comments at public hearings.

2. Email your comments to kyle.dorsey@ecy.wa.gov.

3. Mail comments to: Kyle Dorsey, Washington Department of Ecology, Waste 2 Resources Program, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600.

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