Association Keeps Pressure on Increasing SWRCB Fees

In response to a proposed 27% increase in Irrigated Lands (ILRP) fees and a 7% increase in Waste Discharge (WDR) fees, the Association has been meeting with Assembly and Senate Budget Subcommittee members who will review the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) proposed budgets next week.  Association President/CEO Roger Isom has been walking the halls on the issue highlighting the shift of program cost burden from the General Fund to permit holders such as farms and processors.  In particular, the Association has pointed out the problem with assessing the cost burden of programs such as beach cleanup and monitoring, TMDL and Basin Plan amendments on these two sources.  The Association has also gone to great detail to identify concerns with the sheer cost of the WDR permit as compared to other environmental permits including air pollution permits.  Currently, WDR permits typically cost more than 2 ½ times the air quality permits.  With the looming budget hearings, the Association will remain vigilant in fighting these proposed fee increases.