SB 413 (NPDES and WDR permit fees) singles out California businesses

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, April 24, 2009 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

In February, Senator Denise Moreno Ducheny (D-San Diego) introduced SB 413 which was concerned with California Regional Water Quality Control Board membership.  

Earlier this week SB 413 was significantly amended and now deals specifically with wastewater discharge fees.  This bill would authorize the State Water Resources Control Board and the nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards to impose additional fees on parties who are issued NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permits or Waste Discharged Requirement (WDR) permits to recover costs associated with updating Basin Plans and State Water Control Plans.

CMTA is concerned with the fact that permit holders alone are being singled out to fund this work.  These plans are necessary for the benefit of all citizens of the State and not just the permit holders.   Developing new plans and policies, and updating Regional Board Basin Plans are activities of a general nature and are thus properly financed by the state’s General Fund and paid by all Californians.  It is unclear at this point how much it will cost the State and NPDES/WDR permit holders to update the Basin Plans or to develop future Statewide Plans of water quality control.

In difficult economic times, it would be unwise to place new and inequitable financial burdens on California businesses, and any new fees must be scrutinized very closely to ensure that there is a realistic expectation between the benefits expected and the burdens imposed.  SB 413 will receive its first policy committee hearing next Monday, April 27th in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee and CMTA will be opposing the bill.

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