PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: This rule making will amend chapter 173-175 WAC, Dam safety. The amended rule will increase the fees collected under RCW 90.03.470 (7) and (8) for periodic inspections and engineering plan reviews by dam safety office engineers. This will include some updating of definitions and terminology.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapters 43.21A, 43.27A, 86.16, and 90.54 RCW.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Fees set in the current rule do not collect sufficient revenue to offset costs per RCW 90.03.470. Furthermore, the legislature authorized ecology to increase dam safety fees in the 2009-2011 biennium as necessary to meet the actual costs of conducting business (SHB 2157, section 302, Proviso No. 10). Based on this proviso, the office of financial management directed ecology to increase collected fees to recoup actual costs.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: Federal agencies will not be affected by these changes. State agencies affected will be the Washington department of fish and wildlife and state parks, which will see increased inspection fees for dams that they own and operate. There will be an increase in fees for water quality-related projects, such as dairy or municipal waste lagoons (1) for plan review and construction inspection, as well as (2) periodic inspections by ecology. This will require coordination with conservation districts and the state department of agriculture.
Process for Developing New Rule: Ecology will work with stakeholders who will have the opportunity to comment on the proposed rule. We will send a mailing to those potentially impacted by the rule change. To explain the elements of the proposed fee schedule, ecology will distribute information via focus sheets, direct mail, a web page, and e-mail. Prior to the regional public hearings, staff will be available to discuss the proposal and answer questions. To follow our rule-making progress, go to the ecology web site, Current Rule making, at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/laws-rules/currentactivity.html. Scroll down the page to Water Resources, and click on "Chapter 173-175 WAC Dam Safety."
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Doug Johnson, dam safety manager, phone (360) 407-6623, fax (360) 407-7162, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 24, 2010