PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY
[Order 19-10—Filed November 9, 2020, 10:02 a.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: The department of ecology (ecology) plans to amend chapter 173-224 WAC, Water quality permit fees. The purpose of this chapter is to establish a permit fee system for state waste discharge and national pollutant discharge elimination system (NPDES) permits issued by ecology pursuant to RCW 90.48.160
, or 90.48.260
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapter 90.48
RCW, Water Pollution Control; RCW 90.48.465
Water discharge fees—
Report to the legislature.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: RCW 90.48.465
requires ecology to establish, by rule, annual permit fees to recover the cost of administering the wastewater and stormwater permit programs. Ecology adopted chapter 173-224 WAC, Water quality permit fees, in response to this law.
This rule amendment allows ecology to continue recovering expenses in operating and managing the permit programs. Ecology is proposing to increase permit fees for fiscal years 2022 and 2023 to recover the projected program costs next biennium and move closer to payment equity between permit fee categories. Ecology may also propose new permit fee categories, changes to the structure of specific permit fee categories, and technical changes.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: None.
Process for Developing New Rule: Ecology will follow the standard process for the adoption of rules under the Administrative Procedure Act (chapter 34.05
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Ligeia Heagy, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600, phone 360-280-3697, people with speech disability may call TTY 877-833-6341, people with impaired hearing may call Washington relay service 711, email firstname.lastname@example.org, website https://ecology.wa.gov/WQFeeRule, on our email listserv [no URL provided].
Additional comments: Interested parties can stay informed about the rule making and public involvement opportunities as described above. Ecology will extend an offer for government-to-government consultation with tribal governments during each phase of rule development.
November 9, 2020
Water Quality Program Manager