|Action||Promulgate new Nutrient Trading Certification Regulations|
|Comment Period||Ends 5/30/2019|
Pursuant to 9VAC25-900-200. Determination of application fee amount, Section B., Parapgraph 3, "Modifications of approved perpetual nutrient credit certifications will be assessed the base fee only unless the modifications generate additional perpetual credits then a supplementary fee based on the number of additional potential nutrient credits of phosphorus will be assessed in addition to the base fee as specified in subdivision 2 of this subsection." Based on the proposed language, it is unclear what constitutes a "modification" to an approved nutrient credit certification. The credit-generating entity will be assessed a fee (base + supplementary) for all potential credits at the receipt of the application per 9VAC25-900-200, B., 2.
Without a clear definition or understanding of what constitutes a modification, it appears possible for approved credit facilities to be charged redundant or duplicative fees for modification reviews. For example, if a land conversion bank proposes 100 acres of land conversion, but the release is split amongst two (2) 50-acre phases, per the current language, the applicant would be assessed a $10,000 fee for the initial application review. Subsequently, the applicant choses to move forward with Phase 2, the applicant would potentially then be assessed another base and supplementary fee of $8,000. The language is vague and should be clarified what comprises a "modification" to a nutrient credit certification.
My comment is that phasing plans, credit release requests, design and engineering plans, and other related requests associated with the continued development and implementation of a nutrient bank should not be considered a modification and therefore not subject to additional fees. Modifications should be relegated to additional credit generating areas, practices, and other changes that were not part of the approved Nutrient Reduction Implementation Plan.