Proposed Increases Are Based on Outdated Data and May Be Too High

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • DDOE recently announced proposed increases to its fees established under the new Stormwater Rules.
  • If you have been subject to these fees since they became effective in July 2013, or expect to incur these fees at any time over the next year, it is advisable to consider submitting comments.

The District Department of the Environment (DDOE) recently announced proposed increases to its fees established under the new Stormwater Management, Soil Erosion, and Sediment Control Regulations (Stormwater Rules). The Stormwater Rules, which were finalized on July 19, 2013, contain a variety of fees for DDOE reviews and approvals of stormwater management plans, soil erosion and sediment control plans, stormwater retention credit certifications, and green area ratio plans, among others. Section 501.1 of the Stormwater Rules states that these fees will be adjusted for inflation annually based on the Urban Consumer Price Index (CPI-U), which is published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (the Bureau).

On Oct. 10, 2014, DDOE announced proposed new fees under its Stormwater Rules that reflect an increase of approximately 2.07 percent over existing fees. This rate is based on the Bureau's CPI-U for the 12 months ending in June 2014. However, the Stormwater Rules do not specify exactly when in the calendar year the annual CPI-U is to be measured. The Bureau has since released figures for the CPI-U for the 12 months ending in August 2014, that indicate an increase of just 1.70 percent. Many believe that DDOE should be adjusting its fees based on this lower rate.

Submit Your Comments by Nov. 10, 2014

DDOE is accepting comments on its proposed fee increases until Nov.10, 2014. If you have been subject to these fees since they became effective in July 2013, or expect to incur these fees at any time over the next year, it is advisable to consider submitting comments.