Oregon to Seek 3% Permit Fee Increase

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality will seek approval this spring to increase water quality permit fees by 3 percent to address program cost increases. The fees, if approved, would go into effect July 1.

The proposal calls for a 3 percent increase for all National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, Water Pollution Control Facilities (WPCF) permits, and WPCF-onsite septic system permits. Suction dredge permits would not be affected by the fee increase.

Keeping staffing levels constant, DEQ anticipates a 3.62 percent increase in program costs from 2008-09 to 2009-10. Under state law, DEQ is allowed to request up to a 3 percent fee increase each year.

DEQ will be taking public comments on this proposal through 5 p.m.  March 2. The proposal is available for public review on DEQ’s Web site at http://www.deq.state.or.us/wq/wqpermit/permits.htm. Written comments may be mailed to Chris Clipper, Oregon DEQ, Water Quality Division, 811 SW Sixth Ave., Portland, OR 97204. Comments may also be faxed to Chris Clipper at  503.229.6037 or sent through e-mail to wqfeerule@deq.state.or.us.

Public hearings are planned for Bend, Medford, and Portland in February.

DEQ will review and respond to all comments received during the public comment period and has the opportunity to modify its proposed rules. DEQ will recommend that the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission approve the fee increases at the commission’s April 23-24 meeting in Portland.

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