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News Brief: Air Emission Fees

Winter 1995

After being sent back to the drawing board by the governor's office because of extensive fee increases, DNR staff presented a revised budget to the Board at a special meeting November 11. The DNR's original request was for $907.3 million for the 1995-97 biennium budget. The modified request reduced that amount by $17 million. DNR staff dropped the proposal for a wastewater and air emissions surcharge but maintained a $971,500 annual emission fee increase. The DNR also proposed to maintain its Legacy Fund as a funding source for a myriad of programs but agreed to reduce its proposed increase in the petroleum inspection fee from $.07 per gallon to $.04 per gallon. The Board approved the fee increase, and DNR's budget is now before the Administration, which is expected to pare it down with other agency budget requests prior to its introduction in the Legislature in January. The budget will ultimately pass and be presented to the Governor for approval in May or June 1995.

The proposed emission fee increase would raise $971,500 by imposing an administrative fee amounting to $100 for sources emitting 5 to 12 tons, up to $4,000 for sources emitting over 4,000 tons. In response to this ongoing debate over air emission fees, Godfrey & Kahn has reviewed all Federal Register notices with respect to EPA approvals of state Part 70 permitting program submittals and found that Wisconsin and Hawaii were the only states, of those receiving EPA interim approval to date, that have fees set above the Clean Air Act presumptive level of $25 per ton.

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