The City of Redlandshas mailed out letters and invoices and the subject matter is the National Pollution Elimination System (NPDES) Regulatory Compliance Program. The letter explains that Congress (Government Agency #1) established the Water Quality Act establishing the NPDES program run by the Environmental Protection Agency (Government Agency #2) overseen by the State and administered by the Regional Water Quality Control Boards (Government Agency #3) that has partnered with the City of Redlands (Government Agency #4) that will collect the NPDES Compliance Fee, in conjunction with business license renewal fees.
The City will also determine the business classification or in lay terms determine what fee is to be charged to “qualifying” businesses. The letter reads the “regulatory fee has been in effect since 2004 and is necessary to fund a portion of the program activities, such as periodic business inspections, program compliance, reporting, record keeping, educational outreach, monitoring activities, personnel etc.”.
The Chamber, like many of the businesses, was unaware of the fee and the collection method and is now working with elected officials and city staff to understand the process and help to develop a better communication system in the future that will avoid surprising fees and unexpected, unbudgeted surcharges.