Written public comments are being accepted through Aug. 14, 2017.
(Published Jul 31, 2017)
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is suggesting that it needs to make changes to the existing fee system for National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for wastewater and stormwater systems.
While officials are not making a proposal for how the fee system would be changed, they claim to need about $6 million per year in additional revenue for their water quality programs, and cities are a very large percentage of agency water permittees.
Permit backlogs, an inability to perform proactive enforcement activities, recruiting and retaining qualified personnel, and delays in developing new water quality standards are listed as reasons the added funding is needed.
The League attended one of two agency input sessions held in late July to ask questions about the proposal and to argue that the state general fund is where the agency should be seeking additional revenue for expanded water quality work, not from existing permit holders.
Cities are strongly encouraged to provide their own comments about NPDES; the current level and structure of permit fees; thoughts or concerns about changes to that system for municipal, industrial, or agricultural permit holders; and to what extent permit fees should be considered as the solution to increasing revenue needs by the state. The MPCA is accepting comments until Aug. 14.
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