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Incentives Proposed for Clean Water Permit Fees

Release Date: 12/21/2006
Contact Information: (Media only) Dale Kemery, (202) 564-4355 / kemery.dale@epa.gov Other inquiries: Lena Ferris, (202) 564-8831 / ferris.lena@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. - Dec. 21, 2006) A proposed EPA rule would provide a financial incentive to states to use fees when running a clean water permit program. EPA's rule would allot up to three percent of state water pollution control grant funds to states that have adequate National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit fee programs.

"We encourage states to use permit fees for additional funding for their clean water programs," said EPA Assistant Administrator of Water Benjamin H. Grumbles. "A variety of tools and funding approaches are needed for a strong program, including having permitted facilities share the cost of keeping water clean."

The increased cost of administering water permit programs has prompted some states to levy permit fees to cover shortfalls. Certain states, however, still operate with little or no reliance on permit fees. The proposed
NPDES Permit Fee Incentive for Clean Water Act Section 106 Grants; Allotment Formula is designed to create financial incentives to prompt more states to implement adequate fee programs and shift part of the financial burden to those who benefit from the permits. It will also allow states to move funds to other critical water quality program activities. The proposed rule would not take effect until after Oct. 1, 2007. The proposed rulemaking includes a 60 day public comment period.

About the proposed permit fee: epa.gov/owm/cwfinance/npdes-permit-fee.htm

About water pollution control programs: epa.gov/owm/cwfinance/pollutioncontrol.htm