Chapter 173-224 WAC

Wastewater/Stormwater Permit Fee Rulemaking



Charles Gilman


RCW 90.48.465 – Water Pollution Control requires that Ecology establish, by rule, annual fees that fund the wastewater and stormwater permit programs.

Ecology amended Chapter 173-224 WAC – Wastewater Discharge Permit Fees. This amendment allows permit fees to be increased for Fiscal Year 2018 (July 2017 – June 30, 2018) and Fiscal Year 2019 (July 2018 – June 2019) so that we can recover the cost of administering the wastewater and stormwater programs this biennium.

Scope of rule development

State law (RCW 80.48.465 – Water Pollution Control) requires Ecology to fund its wastewater and stormwater permit programs through annual fees paid by permit holders.

The proposed changes sought to continue moving the program toward payment equity between permit categories. Ecology adopted a larger percentage fee increase for underpaying categories and a smaller percentage fee increase for overpaying categories.

Ecology’s goals in establishing the percentage splits are to honor the need for fund equity while not over-burdening the under-paying categories with an increase that is not sustainable.

We updated rule language to account for changes in current business practices relating to electronic payment options, collection processes, and data collection. We also removed the winery general permit fee category for the 2017-19 biennium, as this new permit will not be effective until July 1, 2019. 

The adopted 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