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 that industries, local governments and others pay to be covered by stormwater and wastewater discharge permits.
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, required by state law, 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.