PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Revision of chapter 173-455 WAC, Air quality fee rule. The amendments will change the fee schedule for permitting activities covered under the new source review program. The fees must meet the actual cost of conducting business. We will also identify orders or activities that are part of new source review. Lastly, in the fee section for woodstoves and fireplaces, we will make a housekeeping change to be consistent with the department of revenue. They changed the name of a reseller certificate to a reseller permit (WAC 173-455-060).
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Section 301(10) of the 2009 budget bill authorizes ecology to increase fees to cover the cost of conducting new source review. See ESSB [ESHB] 1244 (2009). RCW 70.94.152 provides authority for ecology to establish new source review fees.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The revenue from fees under our preconstruction permitting program, called new source review, does not cover the cost of operating the program. The legislature authorized ecology to increase fees in the 2009-2011 biennium. Ecology will evaluate our fee structure to determine the most appropriate method for assessing fees. We will be reviewing the discrete steps in issuing a permit with an eye toward determining if there are tasks where the cost of the work exceeds the revenue generated.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: No other state or federal agency regulates this subject. However, seven local air agencies do. Ecology will keep the air agencies informed throughout our rule-making process by briefing the Washington air quality managers and via e-mail and focus sheets.
Process for Developing New Rule: Ecology will work with stakeholders who will have the opportunity to comment on the draft fee schedule. 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 a press release, mailing and e-mail. Prior to a public hearing, staff will be available to discuss the proposal and answer questions.
To follow our rule-making process, go to the ecology web site, Current Rule Making, at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/laws-rules/currentactivity.html. Scroll down the page to the second program, Air Quality, and click on "Chapter 173-455 WAC Air Quality Fee Regulation."
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Elena Guilfoil, Air Quality Program, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600, phone (360) 407-6855, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 20, 2010
Air Quality Program Manager