Revisor ID: R-04476

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is planning amendments to rules governing water quality fees (Minn. R. chapter 7002). Planned rule amendments would revise permit application fees, additional fees, and annual fees. This includes fees for construction, industrial, and municipal stormwater; municipal and industrial wastewater permits, and feedlot permits. The amendments would also change the implementation of wastewater variance fees.

The MPCA issued requests for comment (RFC) in 2017 and 2020, holding stakeholder meetings during each comment period. The 2017 RFC asked for input generally, while the 2020 RFC asked for feedback on an included concept document. Copies of these RFCs, supporting materials, and the comments received in response are available below under rulemaking documents.    

After reviewing comments from the 2020 RFC, the MPCA made significant changes to the fee concepts. These changes aim to create a fee structure more equitable for permittees and more holistic in reflecting MPCA costs.

Next steps

A third RFC was open for public comment from Aug. 1 through Sept. 2, 2022. The MPCA the will consider these comments and prepare draft rules and a statement of need and reasonableness over the coming months.

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Background

The MPCA seeks to revise fees so that they reflect the agency’s costs to administer state and federal requirements associated with the fee-based water quality programs that protect the state’s water resources. Revised fees are also needed to distribute permit costs equitably across affected permittees. The fees charged across programs are inconsistent, and some regulated parties cover more of their program’s costs than others.

The first Request for Comments on this rulemaking was published in the State Register on June 26, 2017. The MPCA specifically requested comment on the subject of the rules in the Request for Comments, and on the fact sheet for public input. An informational meeting on this rulemaking was held on July 24, 2017, at the MPCA’s St. Paul office and six regional offices via video conference. The notice, comments received, meeting presentation, and fact sheets are available below under rulemaking documents.

After considering the comments received in response to this Request for Comments, the MPCA Commissioner formed the Water Fee Advisory Committee in late 2017.

Rulemaking documents

February 2020

June 2017

Schedule

This is a tentative schedule.

Task

Date(s)

Publish Request for Comments

June 26, 2017. The MPCA held a video conference to share information on this rulemaking July 24, 2017, at MPCA’s St. Paul and regional offices.

Informal public engagement

Summer 2019 - Spring 2020

Publish 2nd Request for Comments

January 27, 2020. The MPCA held stakeholder meetings during the public comment period for this Request for Comments on Feb. 5, Feb. 6, Feb. 10, and Feb. 13, 2020.

Publish 3rd Request for Comments

August 1, 2022. The MPCA will hold an informational meeting during the public comment period for this Request for Comments on August 16, 2022 from 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Draft the rule language / statement of need and reasonableness (SONAR)

Fall 2022 – Spring 2023

Public comment period on proposed rules / Notice of Hearing

To be determined

Adoption of rules with a hearing

Approximate time 6 months after Notice of Hearing

Related materials

Minnesota statutes

Minnesota rules

Technical contacts