Friday, August 27, 2021

Environmental Quality Board Publishes Final Chapter 91 & 92 Water Quality Permit Fee Increase Regulation

On August 28, the Environmental Quality Board published the final regulation in the PA Bulletin increasing
Chapters 91 and 92 Water Quality Permit fee increases which were made necessary by cuts in funding by the General Assembly. (formal notice)

The new fees become effective with their publication in the PA Bulletin.

DEP began the process to update Chapter 91 and 92a wastewater and NPDES water quality permit and administration fees in 2016.

Chapter 91 wastewater facility fees have not been increased since 1971 and NPDES permit fees were last increased in 2010.

The Water Quality permit fee increases (Chapter 91) would cover from 500 to 600 applicants annually and the NPDES permit fee increases (Chapter 92a) would cover approximately 4,000 facilities.

The final fee package for most categories of permits has fees that continue to be significantly less than those of most neighboring states.

Since 2007, DEP’s Clean Water Program staff has been reduced by 25 percent due to cuts in state General Fund appropriations.

DEP believes 25 additional staff are necessary in the Bureau of Clean Water to adequately carry out its responsibilities.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has told DEP several times since 2010 the agency does not have adequate resources to carry out its federally mandated responsibilities for the NPDES Program, including the MS4 Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program.

DEP’s changes would increase permit fees to make up for cuts in General Fund appropriations totaling $6.5 million-- Chapter 92a NPDES-- $4.5 million-- and Chapter 91 Water Quality-- $2 million-- permit fees.

Documents related to this draft final regulation are posted on the EQB webpage.

Related Articles:

-- House Environmental Committee Republicans Oppose Fees Funding Water Quality Protection Programs; Write RGGI On Authority For Regs To Reduce Carbon Pollution From Power Plants

-- House Republicans Now Want To Take Away All DEP’s Application Fee Revenue To Further De-Fund Environmental Protection Programs

[Posted: August 27, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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