Stormwater Permits Create Funding Problems for SoCal Cities

The MS4 Permit was designed as a way to clean up urban stormwater runoff in Southern California. Many of the smaller cities in the region, however, are struggling to pay the bill to cover the permits costs.
March 27, 2016, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Local governments and state representatives in Southern California are working "to figure out what they can do to help cities pay for a plan that could reach $20 billion over 20 years for the 88 cities in Los Angeles County," according to an article by Steve Scauzillo.

State senators Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina, and Bob Huff, R-San Dimas, recently joined "city managers, mayors, city attorneys as well as staff members from the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board" for a meeting to examine potential solutions to the funding problems cities have encountered as a result of the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Permit (MS4 Permit). Local governments "have voiced complaints that permits required to rid toxic chemicals and bacteria from storm water imposed staggering costs that could bankrupt smaller cities."

Scauzillo cites the example of Monrovia, which faces a price tag of $231 million for its stormwater permits. That works out to more than $1,300 per parcel in the city. Adds Scauzillo: "The cost for the small, foothill city of Bradbury is more than $60 million. Santa Clarita would pay $499 million. The city of Hawthorne would be forced to pay $193 million over 10 years."

Scauzillo includes some of the potential solutions for the problem discussed during the meeting, and more background on the environmental concerns the permit attempts to address.

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Published on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 in San Gabriel Valley Tribune
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