State Water Board Announces ELAP Fee Increases

By CWEA Lab Committee, Regulations

On September 15, 2021, the State Water Resources Control Board approved increases in fee structures for programs under their authority.

There are several categories that affect State Water Board fees for municipal water/wastewater laboratories, such as:

  • NPDES permit fee
  • Waste Discharge Requirements permit fee
  • Stormwater Permit fees
  • ELAP Laboratory Certification fee

As of September 2021, the NPDES Wastewater unit is reported to have a $4.3 million deficit translating to an average increase of 11.9%. The NPDES Stormwater program was reported to have a $6.1 million deficit translating to a 17.9% increase. The WDR program was reported to have a $6.0 million deficit translating to a 16.8% increase. The ELAP program was reported to have a $4.35 million deficit, translating to a 15.9% increase.

State Water Board ELAP Fee Increase Announcement

Required Notice of Proposed Emergency Action
Government Code section 11346.1, subdivision (a)(2) requires that, at least five working days prior to submission of a proposed emergency action to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL), the adopting agency must provide a notice of the proposed emergency action to every person who has filed a request for notice of regulatory action with the agency. This document provides the required notice. Upon receiving the proposed emergency regulation, OAL shall publish the notice on their website and allow interested persons five calendar days to submit comments on the proposed emergency regulation as set forth in Government Code section 11349.6.

Proposed Emergency Action
Health and Safety Code section 100829 requires the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) to set the amount of total revenue collected each year through the fee schedule at an amount equal to the amount appropriated by the Legislature in the annual Budget Act from the Environmental Laboratory Improvement Fund (ELIF) for expenditure, taking into account the reserves in the ELIF. Health and Safety Code section 100829 also provides that the schedule of fees be set in an amount sufficient to recover all reasonable regulatory costs incurred for the purposes of the Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Act, and that the State Water Board review and revise the fees each fiscal year (FY) as necessary to conform to the amounts appropriated by the Legislature.

ELIF budgetary expenditures for FY 2021-22 are expected to increase 13 percent compared to FY 2020-21. At its September 22, 2021 meeting, the State Water Board adopted emergency regulations that adjust fees to conform to the revenue levels set forth in the Budget Act for FY 2021-22. To cover the costs of the Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP) program, the State Water Board is raising fees on some fee items on the ELAP fee schedule. The annual base fee is being raised from $2,500 to $3,100 and field-of-accreditation (FOA) fees for each tier will also be raised. Amendment fees will be changed to include an amendment application fee depending on the number of FOAs and amendment assessment fees will be changed depending on whether the assessment for the amendment is performed as a standalone item or with a renewal assessment.

Download the State Water ELAP Announcement >

Visit the ELAP Program website for more details.