Washington state agency weighs increase in dam fees

OLYMPIA, Wash., U.S. 11/10/11 (PennWell) -- The Washington Department of Ecology invites public comment on a proposal to increase fees for state dam inspection as well as charges to review new dam construction plans.

The Washington Legislature this year ordered Ecology to increase dam safety fees to offset more of the costs of dam inspections and review of construction plans from dam owners. The department helps ensure the safety of more than 1,000 state-regulated dams.

The 2011 legislation authorizes Ecology to propose a rule that would add $256 to $352 to existing inspection fees for more than 380 dams and reservoirs that would pose a high or significant hazard to human health and safety if they were to fail. Inspections are required every five years. The legislation also would increase fees for construction plan reviews by $3,510 for dams of less than 15 feet in height, $7,940 for dams between 15 and 50 feet tall, and $14,284 for dams exceeding 50 feet.

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