Those who are interested in how the Washington State Department of Transportation handles stormwater runoff from highways and other paved surfaces have an opportunity to comment on a new Stormwater Management Program plan. WSDOT will consider online and email comments on the plan starting today, Oct. 7, to Friday, Oct. 18.

WSDOT is responsible for managing stormwater from highways, rest areas, park-and-ride lots, ferry terminals and maintenance facilities in urban areas throughout the state. In spring 2019, the state Department of Ecology issued WSDOT a permit that regulates stormwater from these paved surfaces. As part of that permit, WSDOT is required to submit to Ecology a stormwater management plan by Oct. 31, describing how the agency will implement the permit’s requirements.

Any comments WSDOT receives by Oct. 18 will be considered before finalizing the plan this year. WSDOT will consider comments received after the deadline in next year’s plan update.

Managing stormwater from highways and other paved surfaces is important to traveler safety and for water quality in streams and underground water supplies. Untreated, stormwater can carry pollutants downstream and can cause flooding and erosion that might lead to roadway damage.