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Clean water fees

Billing and fees

Approximately a third of the Water Quality Control Division’s clean water work is supported by permit fees. Currently, there are application fees, annual fees, and modification fees for every permit and permit certification. The exact amount of these fees is stated in Section 25-8-502.2(1.1) of the Water Quality Control Act (starting on page 38 of this PDF), and we encourage you to review the Act for the best information.


Here is a summary table of permit fees. Note this is just a summary, and the most accurate fee information can still be found in the Water Quality Control Act. 

How does billing work?

Billing for the Water Quality Control Division permits is based on a fiscal year beginning July 1 and ending the next June 30. 

You will receive a bill from the Division in the mail in June or July for the upcoming year, and you are required to pay it within 30 days.

You will continue to be responsible for paying annual permit fees for upcoming years unless you apply for termination and the Division (prior to July 1) terminates your permit. 

Permit fees vary a little by category. Here are some more details:

  1. Permits for construction and dewatering 
    • This includes permit certification under general permits COR400000, COG070000, COG080000, COG315000, COG317000, COG318000, COG604000, COG603000, and COG608000 
    • After you apply for a permit, you will be invoiced for an application fee.
    • This application fee is required by statute.
    • The fee is 50% of the annual fee, regardless of when the application is submitted.
    • The balance of the annual fee is NOT billed during the remainder of that fiscal year.
    • Modifications issued during the fiscal year are invoiced a fee that is 25% of the annual fee. This applies to all construction sector permit types.
    • The first July 1 after the permit is issued (the beginning of the next fiscal year), you will be billed an annual fee. The annual fee is a flat fee and is not prorated. 
    • Annual fees are billed every July 1 and continue until the permittee terminates the permit.
    • Annual fees are not renewal fees - they are fees that are invoiced each year until a permit is terminated.
    • Due to the rapid turnover of construction sector permits, the division sends a billing courtesy reminder in May prior the annual billing to permittees in the construction sector to alert them to the need of terminating any permits they may have that need to be terminated prior to July 1.  Permits not terminated prior to July 1 will be invoiced the annual fee. This fee will not be voided if a permit is not terminated before July 1.
  2. All other sector general permits and individual permits
    • The first July 1 after the permit is issued (the beginning of the next fiscal year), you will be billed an annual fee. The annual fee is a flat fee and is not prorated. 
    • Annual fees are billed every July 1 and continue until the permittee terminates the permit.
    • Annual fees are not renewal fees - they are fees that are invoiced each year until a permit is terminated.
    • If an application for a new permit is submitted and the division does substantial work toward a permit, and the application is withdrawn, you will be billed a fee of 50% of the appropriate annual fee.
    • Modification fees of 25% (minor modification) and 55% (major modification) of the annual fee are billed when the modification is issued.
    • Every July 1st, each open permit is assessed an annual fee. 

Guide to your bill

This invoice mark-up walks you through the different pieces of a typical construction stormwater bill.

Stakeholder process - archive

Documents from the 2016 Phase III and 2014 Phase I fee structure discussions

More information about clean water fees

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The legislatures passed the clean water fee bill, House Bill 17-1285, in 2017. The bill represents an agreement between stakeholders, the Water Quality Control Division, and the legislature regarding program fees. The bill requires an annual report to be submitted to the legislature every March.

 

If you still have questions, you may use these options:

  • Email: This is our preferred method of communication. You can email the permits support group at cdphe_wqcd_permits@state.co.us. Please include detailed information. If you have a question about an invoice, please attach a copy.
  • Phone: Reach permit support staff at 303-692-3517 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday. Press "0" to reach a live support person. If you reach us during off hours, please leave a detailed message with your name, phone number, permit number (Reference number), and details of your question. Please speak slowly and clearly.