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DOE proposes big increase for stormwater permit fees

AGC opposes a rule proposed by the Department of Ecology that would dramatically increase construction stormwater permit fees.

Last week DOE announced a draft rule that would increase the fees for both general and individual permits by 5.31% in 2016 and 5.27% in 2017. DOE says that current fees don’t cover the cost of administering the program. DOE also claims that the construction permits are among a batch of “underpayers” being subsidized by “overpayers” whose proposed increases are about 6.5% over two years. 

Another wrinkle to this issue is the fact that municipalities’ permit fees are capped by law and other than King County they are all at their maximum levels. Municipalities are also “underpayers” but their fees can’t be increased without a change in law.

AGC’s position is

  • heck no to giving more money to a growing complex unrestrained regulatory body;
  • fix the municipal cap issue first;
  • reform the program broadly to make it more cost-effective and include the ability to reduce fees for those that have made investments with a positive track record.

A public comment period and public hearings will be held over the summer and fall but firm dates have not been announced yet by DOE. DOE expects the rule to take effect on Dec. 19 2015.

A summary of the proposed rule and fee increases can be found here.

On a related note AGC members are reminded that construction site operators are required to apply for a new construction stormwater general permit by July 3. Visit the DOE website here for more details.

For additional information contact AGC Chief Lobbyist Jerry VanderWood 360.352.5000.

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