Mike Rogge

Water quality permit fees expected to drop

By Mike Rogge

Capitol Update, Aug. 13, 2015 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Late last week the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) held a water quality fees stakeholder workshop at which staff shared positive permit fee news regarding fiscal year (FY) 2015-16. National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit fees are expected to decline in most permit sectors.  More specifically, storm water permit fees are expected to drop by about 1.2 percent; NPDES permit fees are expected to drop by 28.4 percent; land disposal fees expected to drop by 19.2 percent (no tipping fee) and 18.8 percent (tipping fee), respectively; and all other permit fees are expected to remain the same.   Overall, the FY 2014-15 Waste Discharge Permit Fund (WDPF) revenue is expected to exceed expenditures by approximately $6.5 million as a result of storm water construction revenue coming in higher than forecast and expenditures lower due to the SWRCB’s 5 percent vacancy rate and redirection of staff to drought work supported by General Fund.

All of this said, additional adjustment may be on the horizon with future budgets projecting a 20 to 40 percent fee increase in some permit fee programs as a result of a gradual budget transition to a budget that is more reflective of actual staff work and one that will allow for adjustments to program budget allocations.  In the context of the discussion it appears that the bulk of the increase will be seen in the agriculture sector, specifically the Confined Animal Facilities (CAF) Program.

Staff intends to present the FY 2015-16 fee proposal and overall Water Quality Fee budget to the State Board on September 16th.

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