Since 2013, DEQ has instituted a 401 water quality certification fee structure for projects requiring a Section 401 dredge/fill certification. Previously, DEQ based fees on the amount of material removed or filled. Fees are now based more closely with staff labor costs.
Prior to 2013, projects below a certain dredge/fill threshold and certain activities were exempt from fees. In 2009, the Oregon Legislature passed HB 2185 which eliminated fee exemptions. The new fee structure has helped improve customer service and increased efficiency for applicants.
While developing the current fee structure, DEQ received input from an advisory committee that included representatives from the federal government, state government, local governments, environmental groups and trade associations.
DEQ will assign projects to one of five tiers, and invoice based on that tier.
- Tier 1 - $985
- Tier 2A - $4,390
- Tier 2B - $12,105
- Tier 3 - $17,780
- Tier 4 - $14,020 per month
OAR 340-048-0055 contains the updated fee schedule for certifications.
How do I know at which tier DEQ will review my project?
Generally, tier 1 projects are small and less complicated and require minimal review time. Tier 4 projects are generally large and complex projects. These review fee tiers are based on estimated hours of staff review time, and several other factors including:
- Water quality impacts
- Level of required public participation
- Level of agency coordination
- Post construction stormwater management
- Level of technical assistance
- Compensatory mitigation requirements
- Sediment evaluation framework
- Alternative analysis and site visits
- Level of project documentation (evaluations and findings)
- Review of National Environmental Policy Act documentation, including an Environmental
- Assessment and/or Environmental Impact Statement
DEQ staff will perform an initial review of proposed projects upon receipt of application or during the 30-day joint public notice with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to determine the appropriate tier. DEQ will apply a charge to an applicant's submittal in the agency permitting portal, Your DEQ Online, when all information necessary to assign a tier has been received.