PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: This rule making will amend chapter 173-175 WAC, Dam safety regulations. Amendments will include increases to the plan review fees, a new fee for periodic inspections, as well as some housekeeping changes to clarify and organize the rule.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 43.21A.064, 43.21A.080, 86.16.061, and 90.03.470.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The Washington Office of Financial Management had the Ecology Dam Safety Office develop a fee proposal, which was passed by the legislature as part of the final budget. The house appropriation provided funding for an additional staff person in FY 2005, to increase the inspections of high risk dams to every five years, rather than the current schedule of every six to ten years. Fees for approving new dam construction and modifications will be increased to cover the actual cost of plan reviews, and fees for periodic dam inspections will be instituted to begin covering the cost of inspections. The senate appropriation increased funding to reflect new fees for approving new dam construction and modifications to cover the actual cost of plan reviews. Fees for periodic dam inspections will be instituted to begin covering the cost of inspections. Rule making is required to provide the funding mechanisms necessary for the above increases approved by the governor and the legislature.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: No other federal or state agencies regulate dam safety for nonhydropower dams or nonfederal dams.
Process for Developing New Rule: Ecology will make presentations to business associations, government associations, as well as other community groups to keep them informed and engaged throughout the rule-making process. Ecology expects to hold four formal public hearings on the rule proposal in NW, SW, NE, and SE sections of the state.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Doug Johnson, Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600, phone (360) 407-6623, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, fax (360) 407-7162. For information about the Dam Safety Office and this rule making visit http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wr/dams/dss.html.
October 24, 2003