Administrative Order No. DEQ-16-2020
Filed and effective: July 29, 2020
See Oregon Bulletin, August 2020
The Environmental Quality Commission adopted rule amendments to increase water quality fees in 2020 for fiscal year 2021.
The Water Quality Program’s mission is to protect and improve Oregon’s water quality. Protecting Oregon’s rivers, lakes, streams, and groundwater quality keeps these waters safe so they can be used for drinking water, fish habitats, recreation, and irrigation. DEQ accomplishes this by developing and implementing water quality standards and clean water plans, issuing water quality permits, regulating sewage treatment systems and industrial dischargers, collecting and evaluating water quality data, providing grants and technical assistance to reduce nonpoint pollution sources, and giving loans to communities to build treatment facilities.
DEQ needed the fee increase to help account for the anticipated rise in administration costs associated with the permit program and to support policy option packages 122 and 127 of the 2019-21 Legislatively Adopted Budget. This increase will also help DEQ achieve its objective for a sustainable water quality program that issues timely, high quality permits. The fees also help ensure compliance with permit conditions through supporting inspections, enforcement, and reporting to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
DEQ must apply the new fees to invoices as of June 2020 to cover costs associated with implementing the permitting program and delivering services to regulated entities. Without this increase, DEQ would need to reduce permitting staff and delay implementing improvements to the program as identified in the report, Recommendations and Implementation Plan
. The 2015 Oregon Legislature commissioned this report, which a third-party consultant completed in November 2016.