New fees proposed on discharge permits

To help recoup the costs to implement the state’s water quality permitting program that protects lakes, rivers and marine waters from pollution, the Department of Ecology is proposing an increase in annual fees for stormwater and wastewater discharge permits.

Ecology says that the permits protect clean water by setting limits on how much pollution may be discharged into the environment. Permit holders also receive technical assistance from the state when pollution problems occur.

The fee changes being considered would cover the state’s increasing costs over the next two years due to inflation.

Fees can range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, depending on the type of activity the permit covers.

Nearly 6,000 local governments and businesses have water quality permits that allow them to discharge limited amounts of pollution.

Ecology is accepting public comments on the proposal through April 11.

The public is invited to participate in a public hearing that will be also held as an online webinar at 1:30 p.m. on April 4 at Ecology’s Lacey building.

Learn more about this activity by visiting Ecology’s website.

The proposed percentages increases by category are:

Underpaying Fee Categories
SFY 2018
(July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018)
  • Aluminum Alloys
  • Aluminum and Magnesium Reduction Mills
  • Aluminum Forming
  • Aggregate Production – Individual and General Permits
  • Aquatic Pest Control
  • Boatyards (Individual and General Permits)
  • Coal Mining and Preparation
  • Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
  • Dairies
  • Iron and Steel
  • Metal Finishing
  • Nonferrous Metals Forming
  • Ore Mining
  • Private and State Owned Facilities
  • Shipyards
  • Stormwater Construction (Individual and General Permits)
  • Stormwater Industrial (Individual and General Permits)
  • Stormwater Municipal Phase 1 and 2 Permits
SFY 2019
(July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019)
Overpaying Fee Categories
SFY 2018
(July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018)
  • Aquaculture
  • Combined Industrial Waste Treatment
  • Combined Food Processing Waste Treatment
  • Combined Sewer Overflow System
  • Commercial Laundry
  • Crop Preparing (Individual and General Permits Facilities
  • Not Otherwise Classified (Individual and General Permits)
  • Flavor Extraction
  • Food Processing
  • Fuel and Chemical Storage
  • Hazardous Waste Cleanup Sites
  • Ink Formulation and Printing
  • Inorganic Chemicals Manufacturing Noncontact Cooling Water With Additives (Individual and General Permits)
  • Noncontact Cooling Water Without Additives (Individual and General Permits)
  • Municipal Wastewater – >250,000 Residential Equivalents
  • Organic Chemical Manufacturing
  • Petroleum Refining
  • Photofinishers
  • Power and/or Steam Plants
  • Radioactive Effluents and Discharges
  • RCRA Corrective Action Sites
  • Seafood Processing
  • Solid Waste Sites
  • Textile Mills
  • Timber Products
  • Vegetable/Bulb Washing Facilities
  • Vehicle Maintenance and Freight Transfer
  • Water Plants (Individual and General Permits)
(July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019

For more information on the proposed fees for Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019, please click here.



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