The California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) recently issued a revised draft State Policy for Water Quality Control for Standardized Cost Reporting in Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) Permits (the Policy). If adopted, this Policy would require permittees subject to MS4 permits to use a list of standardized cost categories to track and report their MS4 permit implementation costs.

The State Water Board released the revised draft Policy on May 9, 2024 for a second round of public comments, which will be due on June 25, 2024, and will hold a public hearing on June 4, 2024. Once the Policy is adopted by the board and approved by the Office of Administrative Law, it would require the regional water boards to incorporate the new cost reporting requirements when they next amend or renew Phase I MS4 permits.

For many permittees, the new Policy could mean significant changes in how they currently track expenditures and could present new administrative costs. At the same time, the Policy is intended to assist the State Water Board and the regional water boards in analyzing the economic impacts of the MS4 permits. It would also facilitate the evaluation of cost-effectiveness of different permit elements to improve receiving water quality. Thus, the Policy will almost certainly have a major impact on how MS4 permits are administered by water boards.

For more information on the revised draft Policy, read the full article in Nossaman’s California Water View – 2024 Outlook.