Washington State is striving to keep its infrastructure safe, and a major part of that process is inspections. To do this, inspectors need clean surfaces to identify structural issues. Working with the Washington State Department of Ecology, WSDOT was able to get a general discharge permit for cleaning bridges and ferry terminals for inspections. This permit allows the spot and maintenance cleaning of fracture critical bridges during the winter, spring, and fall, seasons when the flow of waterways is high enough to mitigate any effects of contamination and debris from the washing. The permit also outlines the catch and filtration procedures necessary to mitigate runoff, remediation actions, and the levels of each pollutant that may be discharged. Ecology examined the immediate environmental impact and the long term effect of possible pollutants on both humans and the ecosystem. The issuance of this permit is a great example of two state agencies working together to ensure the state infrastructure stays safe for travel without compromising the protection of humans and the environment.
To find out more about the permit visit The Washington State Department of Ecology’s website here.