Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 2. Standards, Permits, and Variances

Fees -- Special Assessments -- Late Payment Assessments -- Credit

75-2-220. Fees -- special assessments -- late payment assessments -- credit. (1) A person required to obtain a permit or to register a facility pursuant to this chapter shall submit to the department fees set pursuant to 75-2-112 that are sufficient to cover the reasonable costs, direct and indirect, of developing and administering the permitting or registration requirements in this chapter, including:

(a) reviewing and acting upon a permit application or a registration or modifying, amending, or updating a permit or registration;

(b) implementing and enforcing the terms and conditions of a permit issued pursuant to this chapter or an administrative rule or other regulatory requirement adopted pursuant to this chapter. This does not include any court costs or other costs associated with an enforcement action. If the permit is not issued, the department shall return this portion of the fee to the applicant.

(c) emissions and ambient monitoring;

(d) preparing generally applicable rules or guidance;

(e) modeling, analysis, and demonstrations;

(f) preparing inventories and tracking emissions;

(g) providing support to sources under the small business stationary source technical and environmental compliance assistance program; and

(h) all other costs required to be recovered pursuant to Subchapter V of the federal Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. 7661, et seq.

(2) For a permit or registration fee based on emissions, the fee must be based on emissions of air pollutants regulated under this chapter, including but not limited to volatile organic compounds, each air pollutant regulated under section 7411 or 7412 of the federal Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. 7401, et seq., and each air pollutant subject to a national primary ambient air quality standard.

(3) The department shall by rule provide for the annual review of all fees assessed for persons holding an operating permit issued under 75-2-217 and 75-2-218 to ensure the collection of revenue sufficient to cover the costs of administering the operating permit requirements of this chapter, as required by Subchapter V of the federal Clean Air Act.

(4) In addition to the fees required under subsection (1), the department may order the assessment of additional fees required to fund specific activities of the department that are directed at a particular geographic area if the legislature authorizes the activities and appropriates funds for the activities, including emissions or ambient monitoring, modeling analysis or demonstrations, and emissions inventories or tracking. Additional assessments may be levied only on those sources that are within or are believed by the department to be impacting the geographic area. Before the department may require the fees, it shall first determine, after opportunity for hearing, that the activities to be funded are necessary for the administration or implementation of this chapter, that the amount of the requested fees is appropriate, that the assessments apportion the required funding in an equitable manner, and that the department has obtained the necessary appropriation. The contested case provisions of the Montana Administrative Procedure Act, Title 2, chapter 4, part 6, apply to a hearing before the department under this subsection.

(5) (a) If the permitholder or registrant fails to pay in a timely manner a fee required under subsection (1), in addition to the fee, the department may:

(i) impose a penalty not to exceed 50% of the fee, plus interest on the required fee computed as provided in 15-1-216; or

(ii) revoke the permit or registration consistent with those procedures established under this chapter for permit revocation.

(b) Within 1 year of revocation, the department may reissue the revoked permit or registration after the permitholder or registrant has paid all outstanding fees required under subsections (1) and (4), including all penalties and interest provided for under this subsection (5). In reissuing the revoked permit, the department may modify the terms and conditions of the permit as necessary to account for changes in air quality occurring since revocation.

(c) The department shall by rule provide for the implementation of this subsection (5), including criteria for imposition of the sanctions described in this subsection (5).

(6) The department may by rule allow the reduction of a fee required under this section for an operating permit or permit renewal to account for the financial resources of a category of small business stationary sources.

(7) As a condition of the continuing validity of a permit issued by the department under this chapter prior to October 1, 1993, the department may by rule require the permitholder to pay the fees under subsections (1) and (4).

(8) For an existing source of air pollutants that is subject to Subchapter V of the federal Clean Air Act and that is not required to hold an air quality permit from the department as of October 1, 1993, the department may, as a condition of continued operation, require by rule that the owner or operator of the source pay the fees under subsections (1) and (4).

(9) (a) The department shall give written notice of the fee to be assessed and the basis for the department's fee assessment under this section to the owner or operator of the air pollutant source. The owner or operator may appeal the department's fee assessment to the board within 20 days after receipt of the written notice.

(b) An appeal must be based upon the allegation that the fee assessment is erroneous or excessive. An appeal may not be based on the amount of the fee contained in the schedule adopted by the department.

(c) If any part of the fee assessment is not appealed, it must be paid to the department upon receipt of the notice required in subsection (9)(a).

(d) The contested case provisions of the Montana Administrative Procedure Act, Title 2, chapter 4, part 6, apply to a hearing before the board under this subsection (9).

(10) The total of the fees charged to an applicant under subsections (1) and (4) of this section must be reduced by the amount of any credit accruing to the applicant under 75-2-225. The department may not increase fee assessments beyond legislative appropriation levels to adjust for any credit claimed under 75-2-225. The credit applied under 75-2-225 may not limit the department's ability to collect fees sufficient to cover the reasonable costs, both direct and indirect, of developing and administering the permitting and registration requirements of this chapter.

History: En. Sec. 12, Ch. 502, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 51, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 53, Ch. 427, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 516, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 339, L. 2015; amd. Sec. 21, Ch. 324, L. 2021.