Washington Ups Discharge Permit Fees 9.8% Through 2011
The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) has adopted fee increases that will affect holders of stormwater and wastewater discharge permits in fiscal years 2010 and 2011. The state Legislature approved this move in Substitute House Bill 1413.
Ecology administers state and federal permits to regulate wastewater and stormwater discharges into Washington’s surface and underground waters. In accordance with state water pollution control law (RCW 90.48.465), all permit holders are required to pay annual permit fees. Ecology uses the fee money to recover eligible costs associated with operating Ecology’s wastewater discharge permit program.
The move affects dairies, boatyards, aquatic pest control operators, and holders of municipal, industrial and construction stormwater permits. Fees will increase by 5.2 percent in the state’s fiscal year 2010, which began in July 2009, and by 4.6 percent in fiscal year 2011, beginning in July 2010.
The increases are in step with the state's fiscal growth factor, which is a measure of the state's population and economic trends.
Ecology worked with a broad-based task force in making this change. The group included business, local, state and federal governments, and environmental interests.
Wastewater and stormwater permits are the state’s primary tool to prevent pollution to the surface and groundwater of the state.
Ecology’s public process included workshops across the state. The final rule language is posted on Ecology’s Web site.