SD4 - Water Withdrawal Permit Annual Maintenance Fee Working Group: Summary of Discussions and Recommendations for a Schedule of Permit Annual Maintenance Fees for Water Withdrawal Permits (Chapter 275, 2021 SSI)
Chapter 275 of the 2021 Special Session I Acts of Assembly required the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to:
[C]onvene a working group for the purpose of developing a schedule of annual maintenance fees for water withdrawal permits including (i) Virginia Water Protection Individual-minimum instream flow permits, (ii) Virginia Water Protection Individual-reservoir permits, (iii) Ground Water Withdrawal permits, and (iv) Surface Water Withdrawal permits.(*1)
The Director was directed to convene the working group no later than August 1, 2021. DEQ was tasked to submit to the Governor and the General Assembly:
[A] summary of the working group's discussions and recommendations for a schedule of annual maintenance fees that shall, at a minimum, be sufficient to reflect no less than 40 percent of the direct costs required for the development, administration, compliance, and enforcement of such permits.(*2)
The DEQ Director appointed members of the Water Withdrawal Permit Annual Maintenance Fee Working Group pursuant to Chapter 275 of the 2021 Special Session I Acts of Assembly. The working group met three times, meeting on July 22, 2021, August 19, 2021, and September 9, 2021. The working group developed a permit annual maintenance fee recommendation, which is included in this report. The recommendation is a tiered approach based on the type of permit and the amount of withdrawal authorized by the permit.