PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: This rule making would amend chapters 173-98 and 173-95A WAC to address:
• Incorporating provisions in the 2010 clean water state revolving fund federal appropriation (e.g. green project reserves, forgivable principal).
• Reviewing the allocation of funds between project categories (e.g., facility, activity, or green project reserves).
• Creating a set-aside for preconstruction activities (e.g., planning and design).
• Maintaining consistency between the state revolving fund (SRF) and centennial grant programs.
• Setting a minimum score on applications in order to receive funding.
• Reviewing the list of eligible and ineligible projects to be consistent with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance and to define the list of low impact development techniques.
• Revisiting eligibility of projects that serve only industrial and commercial wastewater or stormwater.
• Addressing the usefulness of hardship funding for stormwater projects.
• Requiring an enterprise accounts [account] for all SRF loan recipients.
• Other issue[s] that emerge during the public comment period.
• Cleaning up miscellaneous housekeeping items (e.g.,
minor corrections, typos).
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 new provisions in the federal appropriations under the federal Clean Water Act in order to receive the EPA funding. If we do not conduct the proposed rule making we may run the risk of losing EPA 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, fax (360) 407-7151, firstname.lastname@example.org; Jeff Nejedly, Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504, (360) 407-6566, fax (360) 407-7151, email@example.com, web site http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/funding/funding.html.
April 5, 2011