Boatyard General Permit - NPDES

What is the purpose of this permit?
This General Permit ensures that the wastewater and stormwater runoff from boatyards is disposed of safely as to cause no harm to the environment.
Who issues this permit?
Department of Ecology
What activities require this permit?

This Statewide general permit applies to boatyards that discharge stormwater runoff from areas with industrial activity directly to the ground, to a surface waterbody, or to a storm sewer system that drains to a surface waterbody. This general permit also regulates process wastewater from pressure washing in boatyards.

A boatyard is a commercial business engaged in the construction, repair and maintenance of small vessels, 85 percent of which are 65 feet or less in length, or revenues from which constitute more than 85 percent of gross receipts.

Services typically provided by boatyards include, but are not limited to:

  • Repair and replacement of engine and propulsion systems, e.g., shafts, propellers, and rudders
  • Repair and replacement of the fuel and lubrication systems
  • Repair and replacement of marine sanitation devices (MSDs)
  • Hull repair, joinery, welding, and grinding
  • Vessel deconstruction activity on land
  • Bottom and topside painting and coating
  • Topside cleaning
  • Pressure washing
  • Buffing and waxing
  • Bilge cleaning
  • Other activities necessary to maintain a vessel

For more information about what activities do and do not require a permit, visit the Boatyard General Permit More Information webpage:

How much will this permit cost?
Ecology does not charge an application fee for this General Permit. However, there is a coverage fee, which varies depending on discharge. Fee amounts can change. For current fees, see the permit fee schedule in Chapter 173-224 WAC.
Where can I get the application for this permit?
The application is called 'Request for coverage under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Boatyard General Permit' is online and can be accessed at
Do I need to include anything with my application?
You must also include a Site Sketch, as an electronic "pdf" or "jpg" attachment. Ecology may request additional information or have questions after reviewing the application form.
Note that a facility wanting to begin operations must conduct a public notice announcement in the newspaper. The applicant must publish a public notice once each week for two consecutive weeks (twice), at least seven days apart, in a newspaper of general circulation within the county in which the discharge is proposed. Coverage may be issued 30 days after the second public notice.
Is the decision on my permit dependent on anything besides the information in my application?
When making the decision on your permit, Ecology will consider the applicable laws and rules, the contents of your application, and the background environmental conditions.

In addition, the permitting process includes public participation. This means that the public may submit comments to Ecology during the public comment period to support or oppose your proposed activity. If any comments are received, Ecology must review and respond to the comments and take them into consideration when making the decision to issue or deny permit coverage.
How long will it take to review my application?
Under WAC 173-226-200 and RCW 90.48.170, application for permits shall be made at least 60 days prior to commencement of any proposed discharge or permit expiration date, whichever is applicable. See the Permit Timeliness Results below for average processing times.
Where do I submit my application?
You should submit your electronic application through the Water Quality Permitting Portal at To access the WQWebPortal, you must first register for Secure Access Washington (SAW). For additional information about SAW, visit: If you need help, contact the appropriate regional office or call the statewide contact noted here:
How long is my permit valid?
Your General Permit is valid for up to five years. Coverage for a facility begins at time of application approval and ends when the General Permit expires or your coverage is revoked. Ecology may administratively extend the General Permit past five years until the agency has completed the permit renewal process.
What is the appeal process for the permit?
An applicant or any interested party has a right to appeal this permit decision to the Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB) within 30 days of the date of receipt of this permit. The appeal process is governed by Chapter 43.21(B) RCW and Chapter 371-08 WAC.  “Date of receipt” is defined in RCW 43.21B.001(2).
You must also comply with other applicable requirements in Chapter 43.21B RCW and Chapter 371-08 WAC.
Read the Pollution Control Board’s Appeal Process web page for more details.
Also see WAC 173-226-190 for more info on appeals.
Notes / Comments:
While applications should be submitted electronically, you can find a hardcopy application which is called 'Request for coverage under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Boatyard General Permit', online at
Legal Authority:
Permit Timeliness Results

Permit Timeliness data collection is in response to a State Auditor’s Performance Audit and RCW 43.42A. Each regulatory agency developed a plan to improve permit clarity, predictability, and timeliness. Each agency considers the customers experience to ensure permit assistance is simple to use, easy to access, and designed in a customer-friendly manner. Agencies report progress to the Governor’s Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance (ORIA). ORIA prepares and distributes reports, with participation from the State Auditor’s Office and Results Washington. See latest report here:

All permits submitted for reporting were entered into this Regulatory Handbook. Here are the results of the performance data:

Estimated Time Required By the Agency to Process a Permit Application (Definition)
Average number of days from Receipt to Complete: 36.5
Maximum number of days from Receipt to Complete: 49

Estimated Time Required By the Agency to Issue a Permit Decision (Definition)
Average number of days from Complete Application to Decision: 2
Maximum number of days from Complete Application to Decision: 7

(Summary results based on 2 submittals in 2023)

Where can I get permitting assistance?
Web page URL:
Department of Ecology
300 Desmond Drive
PO Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600
Telephone: (360) 407-6000
Triggering Questions:
  • Will you be operating a boatyard that produces a discharge of pressure wash water to a sanitary sewer or stormwater to surface waters?
* Permit information last updated 8/14/2023