BEND - The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality will hold a public hearing on increasing the cost of water quality permit fees Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the agency's office in Bend, 475 N.E. Bellevue Drive, Suite 110.

The DEQ wants a 3 percent increase for all national pollutant discharge elimination system permits, water pollution control facilities permits and WPCF-onsite septic system permits.

State law allows the DEQ to request up to a 3 percent fee increase each year.

The DEQ will ask its oversight body, the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission, to allow the increase. If the EQC approves the request, the new fees would go into effect July 1.

The proposal is available viewing at http://www.deq.state.or.us/wq/wqpermit/permits.htm. For more information, including on sending written comments, call Chris Clipper, DEQ Water Quality Division, at (503) 229-6037, or send e-mail to wqfeerule@deq. state.or.us. The DEQ will accept written comments until 5 p.m. Monday, March 2.

- Phil Wright

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