WSR 05-19-151

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY


[ Order 05-16 -- Filed September 21, 2005, 11:18 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Chapter 173-98 WAC, Uses and limitations of the water pollution control revolving fund and chapter 173-95A WAC, Uses and limitations of the centennial clean water fund.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapter 90.50A RCW, Water pollution control facilities -- Federal capitalization grants.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The foundation for these funding programs is provided by statute, but the framework for the programs is provided by rule. The rule also provides consistency and predictability or local governments and tribes. Chapter 173-95A WAC for the Centennial clean water program (centennial) and chapter 173-98 WAC for the state revolving fund (SRF) were last updated five years ago. One of the primary drivers then and now is to enhance ecology's nationally recognized integrated funding approach for the centennial, SRF, and federal Section 319 funding programs.

The water pollution control needs of Washington state communities, which the funding programs serve, have changed and evolved as new initiatives and priorities have been identified. Ecology's water quality program staff and the financial assistance council, which represents clients and stakeholders, identified areas in which the rule should be clarified or updated.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a role in regulation of the SRF program and will be closely involved in the amendment process. No other state or federal agencies regulate this subject but many have an interest in the issues and will be consulted with, coordinated with, and communicated with during the entire rule-making process.

Process for Developing New Rule: Public meetings, mailings, hearings, close work with the water quality program Financial Assistance Council (FAC), which represents a wide range of stakeholders.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. Work will be accomplished early through the meetings of FAC and a series of initial workshops will be held statewide the second and third weeks in October 2005. FAC will continue their work through the entire development process, and at the appropriate times, ecology will hold public hearings. Information contacts:

State Revolving Fund Information: Cindy Price, (360) 407-7132, e-mail cpri461@ecy.wa.gov, Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600.

Centennial Clean Water Program Information: Dan Filip, (360) 407-6509, e-mail dfil461@ecy.wa.gov, Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600.

September 16, 2005

David C. Peeler

Water Quality Program Manager

Washington State Code Reviser's Office