- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
According to an agency release, the rule was designed to encourage states to voluntarily 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 agency said.
Agency representatives noted that the increased cost of administering water permit programs has already prompted some states to implement permit fee programs to cover some costs. A number of states, however, still operate with little or no reliance on permit fees.
The permit fee incentive will only be made available if federal funding for state water pollution control programs is more than the fiscal year 2008 level. Therefore, state grants will not decrease as a result of this rulemaking. The rule will be in effect for the fiscal year 2009 grant cycle and beyond.