Report 2017-118 Recommendation 6 Responses

Report 2017-118: State and Regional Water Boards: They Must Do More to Ensure That Local Jurisdictions' Costs to Reduce Storm Water Pollution Are Necessary and Appropriate (Release Date: March 2018)

Recommendation #6 To: Water Resources Control Board

To ensure that the regional boards obtain adequate and consistent information on the storm water management costs local jurisdictions incur, the State Water Board should develop statewide guidance by August 2018 for local jurisdictions on methods for tracking the cost of storm water management. If the State Water Board believes it does not have the expertise to develop such guidance, it should hire or contract with an expert in municipal finance who can assist in developing that guidance.

1-Year Agency Response

A staff working group developed internal guidance for staff on tracking the cost of storm water management. This guidance will be distributed internally, and will be updated as needed, based on staff experience in applying it and on feedback from regulated parties, consultants, and academia.

  • Completion Date: March 2019
  • Response Date: February 2019

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Partially Implemented

Although the State Water Board developed cost tracking guidance, that information did not include detailed descriptions of the various cost categories, which we believe is an important component for local jurisdictions to appropriately report their storm water management costs. The State Water Board subsequently informed us that it would develop a glossary to assist in clarifying the distinctions among the categories.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

6-Month Agency Response

We have collected resources and assembled a working group to develop this guidance. The group currently includes over 10 senior and experienced people from State and Regional Water Board units. The group is currently developing a timeline to develop the guidance.

The Regional Water Boards are currently conducting an evaluation of cost information reported by municipal permittees during the current terms of the Regions' municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permits. These evaluations may help inform statewide guidance on methods for tracking the cost of stormwater management. We are also conducting outreach to MS4 permittees, consultants and academia and will seek input on the draft guidance from these entities.

  • Estimated Completion Date: To be determined
  • Response Date: August 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending

The State Water Board's response is similar to its 60-day response, in which it continues to report that it is developing a timeline to develop guidance. Our recommendation included a completion date of August 2018 because it is important for the State to make informed decisions that take into account the costs that local jurisdictions incur to meet their storm water obligations.


60-Day Agency Response

We have collected resources to build on in developing this guidance and have assembled a working group to develop this guidance. The group currently includes over 10 senior and experienced people from State and Regional Water Board units. The group is currently developing a timeline to develop the guidance.

The Regional Water Boards are currently conducting an evaluation of cost information reported by municipal permittees during the current terms of the Regions' municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permits. These evaluations may help inform statewide guidance on methods for tracking the cost of stormwater management.

  • Estimated Completion Date: To be determined
  • Response Date: April 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending


All Recommendations in 2017-118

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.