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Water Quality Control Fee-setting By Rule

Concerning water quality regulation in the state, and, in connection therewith, transferring fee-setting authority to the water quality control commission and modifying the membership of the commission.
2023 Regular Session
Natural Resources & Environment
Public Health
Bill Summary

Section 1 of the act increases the percent of appropriated funds that the department of public health and environment (department) may use for the administration and management of the public water systems and domestic wastewater treatment works grant program from 5% to 10%.

Section 3 modifies the composition of the water quality control commission (commission) by requiring that:

  • No more than 5 members of the commission be affiliated with the same political party; and
  • The commission include members with specific types of expertise, including expertise in areas of science, environmental law, environmental policy, municipal water treatment, municipal wastewater treatment, industry, or labor.

Section 4 requires the commission, on or before October 31, 2025, and after engaging in stakeholder outreach, to set the following fees by rule:

  • Drinking water fees assessed on public water systems;
  • Commerce and industry sector permitting fees;
  • Construction sector permitting fees;
  • Pesticide sector permitting fees;
  • Public and private utilities sector permitting fees;
  • Municipal separate storm sewer systems sector permit fees;
  • Review fees for requests for certification under section 401 of the federal "Clean Water Act";
  • Preliminary effluent limitation determination fees;
  • Wastewater site application and design review fees;
  • On-site wastewater treatment system fees; and
  • Biosolids management program fees.

The commission's fee-setting rules must become effective on or before January 1, 2026, and the commission may by rule authorize the division to phase in the fee-setting rules before January 1, 2026.

Section 4 also creates the clean water cash fund into which the fees collected under the commission's fee-setting rules are credited, except that the fees assessed on public water systems under the drinking water fee-setting rules are credited to the drinking water cash fund.

The statutory fee provisions in sections 2, 5, 6, and 8 repeal on July 1, 2026. Before the repeal, the state treasurer is required to transfer any money remaining in the funds into which the statutory fees are credited to the clean water cash fund; except that section 2 specifies that drinking water fees will continue to be credited to the drinking water cash fund and that any money in the drinking water cash fund will remain in that cash fund.

Section 7 repeals the division of administration's (division's) regulatory authority concerning nuclear and radioactive wastes.

Section 9 requires the division to include, in its annual reporting to the commission and the general assembly, information on:

  • The division's implementation and enforcement of the discharge permitting program (program);
  • For reports submitted before October 1, 2025, the division's fee revenue and direct and indirect costs associated with the program; and
  • For the report submitted in 2025, the fee structure set forth in the commission's proposed or adopted fee-setting rules.

APPROVED by Governor May 17, 2023


(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)


Became Law


Bill Text

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The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details