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Division of Water Resources Summary of Rule Changes for Fees

After taking significant steps to reduce operating expenses, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s (TDEC) Division of Water Resources is proposing to restructure a set of specific fees in an effort to create a division structure that is sustainable, fair and preserves the department’s ability to act expeditiously in the permitting process. This rule package proposes to raise some fees to be more commensurate with the level of time and effort required by the division, restructure an area where duplication of fees and permits currently exists, provide a sliding structure for some general permit fees and eliminate soil mapping services to remove competition with the private sector for that service. The proposed rule changes presented here are the result of a comprehensive analysis of the services TDEC’s Division of Water Resources provides and the corresponding regulatory fees it charges. Three rule chapters are affected by this rule package: Chapter 0400-45-06, Chapter 0400-48-01 and Chapter 0400-40-11.

The public comment period is now open. We ask that all comments be submitted by December 12, 2013 to ensure consideration.  Comments and questions may be directed to:

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Div. of Water Resources
Attention:  Britton Dotson
William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 11th Floor
Nashville, Tennessee 37243 or (615) 532-0774

TDEC will hold a public hearing on December 10, 2013 at 1 p.m. Central, 2 p.m. Eastern time.  The hearing will encompass the proposed fee changes in all three chapters together.  It will take place in the Nashville Room on the 3rd floor of the William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower at 312 Rosa R. Parks Avenue in Nashville. Participants may also join by video conference at TDEC’s field offices in Chattanooga, Jackson, Johnson City, Memphis and Knoxville. 

Red line versions of the proposed rule changes: Chapter 0400-45-06, Chapter 0400-48-01, and Chapter 0400-40-11.

A summary of proposed changes is as follows:

0400-48-01-21 Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems

  1. Fee for Subdivision Evaluations – Modified from $65/lot to a tiered structure: two lots or less - $150 per lot; three lots to 10 lots - $100 per lot; and greater than 10 lots - $1,000 for the first 10 lots plus $65 for each additional lot.
  2. Propose to remove fee categories for soil mapping.  These services can be provided by private soil scientists.

0400-45-06 Underground Injection Control

  1. Propose to add language eliminating the potential for duplicate fee assessment that existed before TDEC’s three heritage water divisions were merged into the Division of Water Resources.  This change is proposed for Class V application fees and annual maintenance fees.

0400-40-11-02 Environmental Protection Fund Fees

  1. 401 Certifications and ARAP Permits
    1. Fee to be assessed for General Permit coverage ($500)
    2. Fees for Individual Permits will be based on mitigation components and number of impacts for the project ($2,500 or $5,000).
    3. Fee for permit coverage for personal residences and family farms will remain at $50.
    4. Minor activities that require no notification to obtain GP coverage remain exempt from fee collection.
    5. Services involving hydrologic determinations are proposed to be directed to Qualified Hydrologic Professionals within the private sector, rather than establish a fee category for the State to provide the service.
    6. Propose an annual maintenance fee for individual ARAP permits that require monitoring of permitted activities or mitigation (for the term of the permitted activities).
    7. Propose an annual maintenance fee for general ARAP permits remaining active for over one year.
    8. Propose an annual maintenance fee of $1,000 for water withdrawal ARAP permits, if not previously assessed through Drinking Water fees.
  2. Construction Stormwater Permits
    1. Propose to create categories for: projects between 5 acres and 20 acres; projects between 20 acres and 50 acres; and, coverage under an existing Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan.
    2. Proposed Fee Schedule
      1. Additional work under an existing SWPPP - $100
      2. Projects from 1 acre to less than 5 acres - $250 (no change)
      3. Projects from 5 acres to less than 20 acres - $1,000
      4. Projects from 20 acres to less than 50 acres $3,000 (from $1,000)
      5. Projects from 50 acres to less than 150 acres  - $6,000 (from $4,000).   
      6. Projects equal to or greater than 150 acres -  $10,000 (from $7,500).
    3. Propose an annual maintenance fee for long-term construction projects.  The annual fee will be based on project acreage.
  3. Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems – Propose an application fee category based on design daily flow ($500 - $1,000+).
  4. Propose to modify the Plans Review Fee Category to include Force Main footage with Collection System footage.
  5. Propose to modify the Plans Review Fee Category to include an Engineering Report Review Category.  Fees will range from $250 per report review to $1,500 per report review based on design daily flow.