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Department of Ecology seeks comment on changes to wastewater permit fees

The Washington Department of Ecology invites the public to comment on proposed changes to fees it collects for several categories of wastewater discharge permits.

Permits are the state’s primary tool to prevent water pollution. They set limits on how much pollution can be discharged into the environment by businesses, local governments, and other entities.

Fees recoup the state’s costs to administer the permits. The proposed fee increase amounts were set by the state Legislature.

Ecology proposes to increase fees only for those permit types that do not cover the state’s administration costs.

The following permit categories would be increased by the state’s fiscal growth factor. This would amount to 4.55 percent for state fiscal year 2014 (July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2014) and 4.63 percent for fiscal year 2015 (July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015):

• Aquatic Pest Control;

• Boatyards;

• Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations;

• Dairies;

• Industrial, Municipal, and Construction Stormwater General Permits and Individual Stormwater Permits;

• Private and Government-Owned Domestic Wastewater Treatment Plants; and

• Municipal Domestic Wastewater Treatment Plants that treat water for more than 250,000 households and businesses

Learn more and get involved by attending a statewide public hearing by video-conference at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 24 at any of the Ecology offices, including Bellevue, Northwest Regional Office, 3190 – 160th Ave. S.E., 98008-5452, Room 1C.

The proposed rule amendments are online (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/permits/permit_fees/index.html).

Ecology is accepting public comments on the proposal until Oct. 1 in the following ways:

• Testify or submit written comments at the public hearing.

• Email your comments to: bpos461@ecy.wa.gov.

• Fax your comments to Bev Poston at 360-407-7151.

• Mail comments to: Department of Ecology, Bev Poston, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600.

Ecology expects to adopt this change no earlier than Oct. 30, 2013.

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