Water discharge fees — Report to the legislature.
(1) The department shall establish fees to collect expenses for issuing and administering each class of permits under RCW 90.48.160, 90.48.162, and 90.48.260. An initial fee schedule shall be established by rule and be adjusted no more often than once every two years. This fee schedule shall apply to all permits, regardless of date of issuance, and fees shall be assessed prospectively. All fees charged shall be based on factors relating to the complexity of permit issuance and compliance and may be based on pollutant loading and toxicity and be designed to encourage recycling and the reduction of the quantity of pollutants. Fees shall be established in amounts to fully recover and not to exceed expenses incurred by the department in processing permit applications and modifications, monitoring and evaluating compliance with permits, conducting inspections, securing laboratory analysis of samples taken during inspections, reviewing plans and documents directly related to operations of permittees, overseeing performance of delegated pretreatment programs, and supporting the overhead expenses that are directly related to these activities.
(2) The annual fee paid by a municipality, as defined in 33 U.S.C. Sec. 1362, for all domestic wastewater facility permits issued under RCW 90.48.162 and 90.48.260 shall not exceed the total of a maximum of eighteen cents per month per residence or residential equivalent contributing to the municipality's wastewater system.
(3) The department shall ensure that indirect dischargers do not pay twice for the administrative expense of a permit. Accordingly, administrative expenses for permits issued by a municipality under RCW 90.48.165 are not recoverable by the department.
(4) In establishing fees, the department shall consider the economic impact of fees on small dischargers and the economic impact of fees on public entities required to obtain permits for storm water runoff and shall provide appropriate adjustments.
(5) The fee for an individual permit issued for a dairy farm as defined under chapter 90.64 RCW shall be fifty cents per animal unit up to one thousand two hundred fourteen dollars for fiscal year 1999. The fee for a general permit issued for a dairy farm as defined under chapter 90.64 RCW shall be fifty cents per animal unit up to eight hundred fifty dollars for fiscal year 1999. Thereafter, these fees may rise in accordance with the fiscal growth factor as provided in chapter 43.135 RCW.
(6) The fee for a general permit or an individual permit developed solely as a result of the federal court of appeals decision in Headwaters, Inc. v. Talent Irrigation District, 243 F.3rd 526 (9th Cir. 2001) is limited, until June 30, 2003, to a maximum of three hundred dollars. Such a permit is required only, and as long as, the interpretation of this court decision is not overturned or modified by future court rulings, administrative rule making, or clarification of scope by the United States environmental protection agency or legislative action. In such a case the department shall take appropriate action to rescind or modify these permits.
(7) All fees collected under this section shall be deposited in the water quality permit account hereby created in the state treasury. Moneys in the account may be appropriated only for purposes of administering permits under RCW 90.46.220, 90.48.160, 90.48.162, and 90.48.260.
(8) The department shall present a biennial progress report on the use of moneys from the account to the legislature. The report will be due December 31st of odd-numbered years. The report shall consist of information on fees collected, actual expenses incurred, and anticipated expenses for the current and following fiscal years.
[2009 c 456 § 6; 2009 c 249 § 1; 2002 c 361 § 2; 1998 c 262 § 16; 1997 c 398 § 2; 1996 c 37 § 3; 1992 c 174 § 17; 1991 c 307 § 1; 1989 c 2 § 13 (Initiative Measure No. 97, approved November 8, 1988).]
| Reviser's note: This section was amended by 2009 c 249 § 1 and by 2009 c 456 § 6, each without reference to the other. Both amendments are incorporated in the publication of this section under RCW 1.12.025(2). For rule of construction, see RCW 1.12.025(1).|
Findings -- Intent -- 2002 c 361: "The legislature finds that the recent federal court of appeals decision in Headwaters, Inc. v. Talent Irrigation District, 243 F.3rd 526 (9th Cir. 2001) imposes a duty to obtain a national pollutant discharge elimination system permit under the clean water act for the application of pesticides to irrigation canals. This duty is also extended to other individuals and organizations that apply pesticides to other waters, where no duty existed before the Talent decision.
The legislature finds that the costs associated with the issuance of the national pollutant discharge elimination system permit now required by the department of ecology as a result of the federal decision is burdensome to the affected individuals and organizations. The legislature intends to temporarily reduce the burden of the federal decision on those individuals and organizations." [2002 c 361 § 1.]
Effective date -- 2002 c 361: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately [April 4, 2002]." [2002 c 361 § 3.]
Effective date -- 1998 c 262: See RCW 90.64.900.
Short title -- Captions -- Construction -- Existing agreements -- Effective date -- Severability -- 1989 c 2: See RCW 70.105D.900 through 70.105D.921, respectively.