S-0358.1  _______________________________________________


                         SENATE BILL 5501



State of Washington      55th Legislature     1997 Regular Session


By Senator Morton


Read first time 01/29/97.  Referred to Committee on Natural Resources & Parks.

Removing authority to modify reclamation permit fees.

    AN ACT Relating to surface mining; and amending RCW 78.44.085.




    Sec. 1.  RCW 78.44.085 and 1996 c 70 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:

    (1) An applicant for a public or private reclamation permit shall pay an application fee to the department before being granted a surface mining permit.  The amount of the application fee shall be six hundred fifty dollars.

    (2) After June 30, 1993, each public or private permit holder shall pay an annual permit fee of six hundred fifty dollars.  The annual permit fee shall be payable to the department on the first anniversary of the permit date and each year thereafter.  Annual fees paid by a county for mines used exclusively for public works projects and having less than seven acres of disturbed area per mine shall not exceed one thousand dollars.  Annual fees are waived for all mines used primarily for public works projects if the mines are owned and primarily operated by counties with 1993 populations of less than twenty thousand persons.

    (3) ((After July 1, 1995, the department may modify annual permit fees by rule if:

    (a) The total annual permit fees are reasonably related to the approximate costs of administering the department's surface mining regulatory program;

    (b) The annual fee does not exceed five thousand dollars; and

    (c) The mines are small mines in remote areas that are used primarily for public service, then lower annual permit fees may be established.

    (4))) Appeals from any determination of the department shall not stay the requirement to pay any annual permit fee.  Failure to pay the annual fee may constitute grounds for an order to suspend surface mining or cancellation of the reclamation permit as provided in this chapter.

    (((5))) (4) All fees collected by the department shall be deposited into the surface mining reclamation account.

    (((6))) (5) If the department delegates enforcement responsibilities to a county, city, or town, the department may allocate funds collected under this section to the county, city, or town.


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