If you are covered by a wastewater or stormwater discharge permit, we collect fees from you.
We mail invoices directly to permit holders.
- If your annual fee is $500 or greater, you can pay in full annually OR request a bi-annual schedule.
- If the fee is less than $500, the full amount is billed at the beginning of the state fiscal year (July/August).
- Construction stormwater permit holders are billed annually.
For existing coverage, we normally begin mailing out invoices to permit holders in July, but this schedule is subject to change.
For new permits issued during the fiscal year we will mail a fee invoice within a few weeks of permit issuance.
Why do I have to pay a fee?
You pay a fee because you are covered under a wastewater and stormwater discharge permit. This fee is required by state law, RCW 90.48.465 - Water Pollution Control., which requires us to collect fees from permit holders.
As a result of that law, Ecology adopted Chapter 173-224 WAC - Wastewater Discharge Permit Fees, which contains a schedule for collecting fees for these permits.
Where does the money go?
The fees we collect fund the operation of the Water Quality Wastewater and Stormwater Discharge Permit Programs.
Some of the things funded include:
For more information about the fee program, we provide a report to the legislature about our permit fees collected and expenses paid.
- 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 pretreatment programs
- Supporting the overhead expenses that are directly related to these activities
What if I don't pay?
Permit holders who do not pay the fee by the billing due date are considered delinquent. If this happens, we will notify you. If payment is not received by the specified date, the account may be sent to collections and is subject to enforcement action. The collection agency adds a surcharge of 20 percent.
We may terminate the permit for nonpayment.
Permit fees stop when the permit has been officially terminated by us or when permit coverage expires.
You must contact us as soon as a permitted activity ceases. Permit fees will continue until the permit has been canceled regardless of when the permitted activity stops.
Staff in each of our regional offices are the primary contacts for information about specific permits:
Small business and extreme hardship fee reductions
A business may apply for a small business fee reduction if it:
- Is a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or other legal entity formed for the purpose of making a profit.
- Is independently owned and operated from all other businesses (that is, not a subsidiary of a parent company).
- Has annual sales of one million ($1,000,000.00) dollars or less of the goods and services produced using the processes regulated by the wastewater discharge permit.
- Pays an annual wastewater discharge permit fee greater than five hundred ($500.00) dollars.