In mid-October, a California appeals court ruled in affirmation with a state trial court that stormwater permit requirements are federal mandates not subject to state reimbursement. The case involved Los Angeles County’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Permit (MS4), which requires the county to reduce discharged pollution by the maximum extent practicable. The permit adopted by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Los Angeles Region, includes provisions for inspecting commercial and industrial facilities as well as a program for controlling construction runoff, and it called for Los Angeles County and cities to site trash bins at all transit stops. According to Los Angeles County, while governed by both state and federal law, the permit contained state requirements. Under the California Constitution, unfunded state mandates are subject to reimbursement. However, the appeals court concluded that the state is acting on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in issuing the permit. In conclusion, the requirements in Los Angeles County’s MS4 Permit are considered federal mandates and will not be reimbursed by the state. Read more.
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