WSR 99-12-093

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY


[ Order 99-10-- Filed June 1, 1999, 4:17 p.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: The objective of this proposed rule development process is to evaluate how air quality fees are determined in order to ensure fair and equitable treatment for regulated sources. Existing fee provisions may be consolidated into new chapter 173-409 WAC. Various fee models will be considered and analyzed for administrative efficiency, anticipated revenue stability, and fee equity. Rule amendments consistent with this objective may be proposed.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapter 70.94 RCW.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Washington Clean Air Act provides that costs of protecting the air resource and operating state and local air pollution control programs should be distributed equitably among the sources that cause air pollution. As a result of this proposed rule development process, fees will be evaluated in order that the air quality program can ensure fair and equitable treatment for all regulated sources.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The agency is delegated the authority to impose these fees directly by the legislature. No other federal or state agencies regulate the air quality fees charged by ecology.

Process for Developing New Rule: Agency study; and experienced internal work groups composed of economists, budget analysts, fiscal office staff, and permit fee administration experts will provide guidance throughout this process. Discussion drafts will be available for public review, and public hearings will be scheduled to receive comments and feedback. Stakeholder-based focus groups may be created and consulted as necessary.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. If you would like to receive notification of scheduled public hearings, please send requests to Robert Huber at the following e-mail address: rhub461@ecy.wa.gov.

Requests may also be sent via surface mail to the following address: Robert C. Huber, Department of Ecology, Air Quality Program, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600.

Information is available on the Internet at http://www.wa.gov/ecology/leg/ecywac.html.

May 24, 1999

Stuart A. Clark

for Mary E. Burg

Program Manager

Washington State Code Reviser's Office