Fees associated with some air quality permits issued by the Washington Department of Ecology will increase for the first time since 2012 under a new rule adopted today.
The adjustments apply to the following fees and permit applications, either statewide or in counties where Ecology has jurisdiction:
- Hourly rate for Reasonably Available Control Technology determination
- Carbon Dioxide Mitigation Program fees
- New Source Review (NSR) fees
- Minor NSRs: Notice of Construction; Coverage under a General Order; Replacement or alteration of control technology
- Major NSRs: Prevention of Significant Deterioration; Nonattainment area
- Air Pollution Standards Variance fee
- Nonroad Engine fee.
The adjustments represent an average 25% increase, and become effective July 1, 2023.
The federal Clean Air Act requires state and local governments to issue air quality permits to help mitigate the public health risks associated with air pollution. The Washington Clean Air Act requires Ecology and other air quality regulators to charge fees that fully cover the costs of reviewing and approving these permits and other fees. However, a recent analysis showed that some Ecology fees had not kept pace with costs over time.
Businesses required to obtain air quality permits covered by the fee increases include landfills, wastewater treatment plants, and large industrial facilities statewide, as well as auto body shops, composters, cement batch plants, rock-crushing operations, and other small businesses.
Ecology has also adopted a streamlined process to adjust these permit fees more regularly in the future.
The new fees follow a public comment period in September to October 2022.