PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: This rule making would amend chapter 173-98 WAC to address:
• Incorporating provisions in the 2010 clean water state revolving fund federal appropriation (e.g. green project reserves and forgivable principal).
• Reviewing the allocation of funds between project categories (e.g., facility, activity, planning/design, and green project reserves).
• Maintaining consistency between the state revolving fund (SRF) and centennial grant programs.
• Incorporating provisions of recent Washington state legislation (e.g., greenhouse gas emissions)
• Setting a minimum score on applications in order to receive funding.
• Reviewing list of eligible and ineligible projects to be consistent with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance and to define list of low impact development techniques.
• Discussing whether to revise state environmental review process (SERP) requirements to include all projects that disturb soil, and awarding projects that have completed SERP prior to applying for funding.
• Revisiting definitions of industrial and commercial wastewater.
• Reassessing the deadlines for signing agreements, commencing work, and completing projects in order to speed up the process to expend funds.
• Cleaning up miscellaneous housekeeping items (e.g.,
clarifying definition of "primary domestic
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapter 90.50A RCW, RCW 90.48.035, 43.21.080.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The SRF program is funded in part through a grant from the EPA through the Clean Water Act. It is necessary to comply with revisions to the federal Clean Water Act law in order to receive the EPA funding. If we do not conduct the proposed rule making we may run the risk of losing federal Clean Water Act funding.
The SRF program is managed along with the centennial grant program using a single application form and a combined application process. It is important to maintain consistency between the SRF and centennial program because of the combined funding process.
The 2010 clean water state revolving fund federal appropriation created a new set aside for green project reserves that is not accounted for in the current SRF rule funding categories.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The rule-making process will be coordinated with EPA as the federal agency administering the Clean Water Act funding. Also, we intend to coordinate the rule-making process with other state (e.g. department of commerce) and federal (e.g. USDA-rural development) agencies that we partner with on funding wastewater treatment projects and provide technical assistance to local governments.
Process for Developing New Rule: We intend to involve stakeholders in the rule-making process by using the water quality program's financial advisory council, existing water quality program clients, stakeholder groups for the SRF and other water quality financial assistance programs, and by holding public meetings and hearings for interested parties.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Joseph Coppo, Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504, (360) 407-6510, (360) 407-7151, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Jeff Nejedly, Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504, (360) 407-6566, (360) 407-7151, email@example.com; web site http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/funding/funding.html.
August 17, 2010