Report 2017-118 All Recommendation 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 for Legislative Action

To promote the establishment of appropriate pollutant limits, the Legislature should amend state law to direct the State Water Board to assess whether a study of a specific water body is justified and, if so, to require the appropriate regional board to ensure that the study is conducted by the regional board or the applicable local jurisdictions. For example, a study could be justified if the water body's condition might warrant modifying a maximum pollutant level, if the study could be performed cost-effectively, and if the study's benefits are likely to reduce local jurisdictions' costs or improve protection of the water body's uses. The State Water Board should seek additional funding for local jurisdictions to conduct studies if it believes additional resources are needed.

Description of Legislative Action

The Legislature has not taken any action to address this specific recommendation.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: February 2019

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: No Action Taken


Description of Legislative Action

The Legislature has not taken action to address this specific recommendation.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: September 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: No Action Taken


Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation.

However, Assembly Bill 2538 (Rubio) would, in part, requires the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board to use the guidelines developed by the State Water Board in a pilot project conducted to assess if a financial capability analysis can be effectively used to help municipalities implement a MS4 permit. It would also require the State Water Board to oversee the use of the guidelines and, upon completion of the pilot project, to make statewide recommendations or site-specific recommendations based on feasibility and the need to address the most prominent pollutants.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: May 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation #2 To: Water Resources Control Board

The State Water Board should develop guidance by August 2018 for regional boards to document estimates of the costs local jurisdictions will incur in order to comply with pollutant control plans. These procedures should also address the need to use appropriate methods to develop those estimates, to document the sources they use to develop the estimates, and to document consideration of the overall cost of storm water management to local jurisdictions when completing an economic analysis as part of developing pollutant control plans. Additionally, the documentation of cost estimates should include, where applicable, the impact other pollutant control plans will have on the costs local jurisdictions are expected to incur.

1-Year Agency Response

A staff working group developed internal guidance for staff to document cost estimates, use appropriate methods, document sources, and consider the overall costs of storm water management to local jurisdictions and impacts other plans may have on the costs local jurisdictions are expected to incur. This guidance will be distributed internally, and will be updated as needed, based on staff experience in applying it.

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

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


6-Month 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 has drafted initial guidance and is refining it. The next planned step is to seek feedback from external stakeholders involved in compliance with pollutant control plans.

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

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

Although the State Water Board indicates that it has drafted initial guidance regarding the costs incurred by local jurisdictions, our recommendation specified a completion date of August 2018 to prioritize the State's efforts to make informed decisions regarding these costs. We anticipate that the State Water Board will be able to formalize its guidance by the date of its one-year response to the audit recommendations.


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.

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

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


Recommendation #3 To: Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board

Once the State Water Board has developed cost-estimation guidance, the regional boards should follow this guidance.

1-Year Agency Response

The Central Valley Regional Water Board will follow the guidance developed by the State Water Board.

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

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


6-Month Agency Response

The Central Valley Regional Water Board will follow the guidance once it is developed.

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

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


60-Day Agency Response

The Central Valley Regional Water Board will follow the guidance once it is developed.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Timeline in development.
  • Response Date: April 2018

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


Recommendation #4 To: Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board

Once the State Water Board has developed cost-estimation guidance, the regional boards should follow this guidance.

1-Year Agency Response

The Los Angeles Regional Water Board will follow the cost estimation guidance developed by the State Water Board when developing pollutant control plans in order to document estimates of the costs local jurisdictions may incur in order to comply with these plans.

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

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


6-Month Agency Response

The Los Angeles Regional Water Board will follow the guidance once it is developed.

  • Estimated Completion Date: TBD
  • Response Date: August 2018

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


60-Day Agency Response

The Los Angeles Regional Water Board will follow the guidance once it is developed.

  • Estimated Completion Date: TBD
  • Response Date: April 2018

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


Recommendation #5 To: San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board

Once the State Water Board has developed cost-estimation guidance, the regional boards should follow this guidance.

1-Year Agency Response

The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Board will follow the guidance developed by the State Water Board.

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

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


6-Month Agency Response

The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Board will follow the guidance once it is developed.

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

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


60-Day Agency Response

The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Board will follow the guidance once it is developed.

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

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


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


Recommendation #7 To: Water Resources Control Board

If the State Water Board believes regulations are necessary to ensure that the regional boards and local jurisdictions follow its guidance regarding adequate and consistent information pertaining to their costs for storm water management, the State Water Board should adopt such regulations.

1-Year Agency Response

After an appropriate evaluation, relying in part on the annual review process specified in recommendation 8, the State Water Board will consider adopting regulations if it determines there are portions of the guidance that are not being implemented.

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

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

We assessed the status of this recommendation as pending based on the State Water Board's continued effort to refine its guidance, including the adoption of a glossary that will define cost categories.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

6-Month Agency Response

After an appropriate evaluation, relying in part on the annual review process specified in recommendation 8, the State Water Board will consider adopting regulations if it determines there are portions of the guidance that are not being implemented.

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

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


60-Day Agency Response

After an appropriate evaluation, relying in part on the annual review process specified in recommendation 8, the State Water Board will consider adopting regulations if it determines there are portions of the guidance that are not being implemented.

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

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


Recommendation #8 To: Water Resources Control Board

Once it has distributed its guidance, the State Water Board should work with the regional boards to develop an annual review process of the information the regional boards receive to help ensure its consistency with the guidance.

1-Year Agency Response

The Water Boards have developed an annual review process for the information that the Regional Boards will receive as a result of implementing the guidance called for in recommendation #6. The process will be implemented through the State and Regional Board roundtable, which is a venue for programmatic collaboration among all nine regional water boards and the State Water Board. Recommendations resulting from the annual review process will be presented to the Water Boards' Executive Management Committee for review and approval. It may take several years to incorporate statewide reporting into permits as they are re-issued, but as the Water Boards obtain initial information the State Water Board, working through the Roundtable, will use that information to fine-tune the cost-reporting guidance.

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

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


6-Month Agency Response

The Water Boards will work together to develop an annual review process for the information Regional Water Boards receive. It may take several years for permit renewals to incorporate statewide reporting, but as the Water Boards receive initial information, the State Water Board can use that information to fine-tune the cost-reporting guidance.

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

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


60-Day Agency Response

The Water Boards will work together to develop an annual review process for the information Regional Water Boards receive. It may take several years for permit renewals to incorporate statewide reporting, but as the Water Boards receive initial information, the State Water Board can use that information to fine-tune the cost-reporting guidance.

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

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


Recommendation #9 To: Water Resources Control Board

Until the Legislature amends state law, the State Water Board should provide guidance to the regional boards on when studies of specific water bodies should be conducted and assist the regional boards in obtaining funding for those studies.

1-Year Agency Response

Studies of specific water bodies, such as water effects ratios for metals, are often conducted during the process of adding, modifying, or removing a water quality objective through a rulemaking to amend a water quality control plan. This process typically results from a water body being listed as impaired (i.e., not meeting water quality objectives) due to one or more pollutants. The State Water Board provides direction to the regional water boards on developing site specific objectives in its 2005 guidance, "A Process for Addressing Impaired Waters in California" (available at https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/tmdl/docs/iw_guidance.pdf) and through the Administrative Procedures Manual. Water Board is assessing current guidance to determine if additional detail on water body-specific studies is needed. In addition, as resources become available, the Water Boards identify priority studies that should be conducted, including development of site-specific objectives. This year over $150,000 of federal water quality control planning grant funds were allocated to compile site-specific data needed to utilize a model (the biotic ligand model) to derive site-specific objectives for copper in the Los Angeles Region.

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

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

The State Water Board recently determined that its previously-issued document on addressing impaired waters will serve as its guidance to the regional boards for conducting studies of specific water bodies. It also subsequently clarified for us that it will continue to assess this guidance in recognition that methods and tools may continue to evolve.


6-Month Agency Response

Prioritization for specific water body studies often occurs during the triennial review of water quality control plans. Studies of specific water bodies, such as water effect ratios for metals, are often conducted during the process of adding, modifying, or removing a water quality objective through a rulemaking to amend a water quality control plan. The State Water Board currently provides guidance to the regional water boards on developing or amending water quality control plans and policies through the Administrative Procedures Manual and informal guidelines. The State Water Board convened a meeting with the Regional Water Boards to begin to assess current guidance to determine if additional guidelines are needed on when a regional water board should initiate a study for a specific water body. Once the Water Boards develop draft guidance, staff will begin meeting with stakeholders. Additionally, the Water Boards are pursuing several avenues to increase the resources/funding available to undertake site-specific studies, including proposals to allocate some federal funding for discretionary contracts to these studies.

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

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


60-Day Agency Response

Prioritization for specific water body studies often occurs during the triennial review of the water quality control plans. Studies of specific water bodies, such as water effect ratios for metals, are often conducted during the process of adding, modifying, or removing a water quality objective through a rulemaking to amend a water quality control plan. The State Water Board currently provides guidance to the regional water boards on developing or amending water quality control plans and policies through the Administrative Procedures Manual and informal guidelines. The State Water Board convened a meeting with the Regional Water Boards to begin to assess current guidance to determine if additional guidelines are needed on when a regional water board should initiate a study for a specific water body. Once the Water Boards develop draft guidance, staff will begin meeting with stakeholders.

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

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


Recommendation #10 To: Water Resources Control Board

The State Water Board should direct its staff and those of the regional boards to revise their storm water management requirements when staff become aware of changing circumstances that would make certain monitoring by local jurisdictions unnecessary.

1-Year Agency Response

In 2012, the State and Regional Water Boards' initiated efforts to assess opportunities for reducing the costs of compliance for dischargers subject to Water Board oversight under the NPDES wastewater and storm water programs, among others. One product of that effort was the 2016 NPDES Cost of Compliance Checklist Guide (available at https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/board_info/agendas/2016/aug/081616_8_npdes_coc_checklist_guide.pdf). The Guide provides recommendations and guidance for permit writes to consider to reduce duplication of NPDES permit receiving water monitoring requirements. It provides a list of existing Regional Monitoring Programs, example NPDES permit language, a list of Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP) comparable agency-based monitoring databases, and guidance for reducing monitoring for entities with a positive compliance record. In February 2019, the State Water Board's Deputy Director for the Division of Water Quality sent a memo to all of the Regional Water Boards reminding them of the Guide and that their staff should be utilizing it whenever re-issuing NPDES permits.

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

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

Although the State Water Board had not previously informed us of its cost of compliance checklist guide, this document along with the State Water Board's recent reminder memo sufficiently addresses our recommendation.


6-Month Agency Response

The State Water Board will direct Regional Water Boards to revise requirements when staff become aware of changing circumstances that would make monitoring unnecessary. At this point, however, there appear to be few instances where Water Boards continue to require unnecessary monitoring. While the Audit Report identified bacteria testing as a source of concern, the testing protocols continue to be necessary for beach postings purposes under California Department of Public Health standards.

On May 23, 2018 and July 9, 2018, the Los Angeles Water Board modified the Monitoring and Reporting Programs for the three Phase I MS4 permits in its region to eliminate the requirement to monitor fecal coliform in freshwater consistent with the Los Angeles Water Board's reliance on E. coli rather than fecal coliform in its water quality standards to protect recreation in freshwaters.

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

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

The Los Angeles Regional Water Board provided evidence that it removed the unnecessary standards we identified in our audit. To ensure that the State Water Board and regional boards proactively identify unnecessary monitoring, we would expect that the State Water Board would develop and adopt policies to require its staff to regularly assess the relevance of monitoring requirements and take action when unnecessary monitoring is identified.


60-Day Agency Response

The State Water Board will direct Regional Water Boards to revise requirements when staff become aware of changing circumstances that would make monitoring unnecessary. At this point, however, there appear to be few instances where Water Boards continue to require unnecessary monitoring. While the Audit Report identified bacteria testing as a source of concern, the testing protocols continue to be necessary for beach postings purposes under California Department of Public Health standards.

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

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

As we note on page 26 of our report, state law allows the use of different indicators if, based on the best available scientific studies, the alternative indicators are as protective of public health. The USEPA has identified since 1986 that the bacteria testing required by the State Water Board is outdated. The State Water Board should consider the steps it may need to take to address outdated indicators that result in unnecessary monitoring. For example, it could work with the California Department of Public Health to address the relevance of the outdated indicators pertaining to bacteria.


Recommendation #11 To: Water Resources Control Board

The State Water Board should revise its trash policy to focus it on local jurisdictions that have water bodies that are harmed by trash, as identified by the polluted waters list. In addition, the State Water Board should review the polluted waters list at least biannually to identify any additional water bodies recently determined to be harmed by trash and impose its trash policy on the applicable jurisdictions.

1-Year Agency Response

The State Water Board must periodically review the requirements, such as the trash control requirements, established in its water quality control plans. Consistent with applicable law, the State Water Board will consider this audit recommendation during the Ocean Plan 2019 Triennial Review, which was initiated in August 2018. That said, the State Water Board adopted the trash control requirements following a comprehensive public process, considered competing policy considerations, and sees no reason to revise the trash control plans at this time.

  • Response Date: February 2019

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Will Not Implement

As we state in our report, the State Water Board's trash policy requires certain local jurisdictions to address a pollutant that is of lesser concern than other pollutants. Therefore, we believe that this statewide policy is overly broad in its application and should be revised.


6-Month Agency Response

The State Water Board must periodically review the requirements, such as the trash control requirements, established in its water quality control plans. Consistent with applicable law, the State Water Board will consider this audit recommendation during the Ocean Plan 2019 Triennial Review, which was initiated in August 2018. That said, the State Water Board adopted the trash control requirements following a comprehensive, public process, considered competing policy considerations, and sees no reason to revise the trash control plans at this time.

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

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

During its triennial review, the State Water Board should consider how its requirements affect all areas of California. As we note on page 29 of our report, communities in the Central Valley have documented that other pollutants are a greater source of concern in their jurisdiction than trash. By imposing statewide requirements for trash, the State Water Board has led certain local jurisdictions to spend resources to address a pollutant of lower concern than other pollutants within those jurisdictions. Further, our recommendation that the State Water Board consider the applicability of its trash policy biannually is consistent with the frequency with which it must review those waters in the State that are impaired by trash.


60-Day Agency Response

The State Water Board must periodically review the requirements, such as the trash control requirements, established in its water quality control plans. Consistent with applicable law, the State Water Board will consider this audit recommendation during its next triennial review, which will be initiated in mid-2018. That said, the State Water Board adopted the trash control requirements following a comprehensive, public process, considered competing policy considerations, and sees no reason to revise the trash control plans at this time.

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

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

During its triennial review, the State Water Board should consider how its requirements affect all areas of California. As we note on page 29 of our report, communities in the Central Valley have documented that other pollutants are a greater source of concern in their jurisdiction than trash. By imposing state-wide requirements for trash, the State Water board has led certain local jurisdictions to expend resources to address a pollutant of lower concern than other pollutants within those jurisdictions. Further, our recommendation that the State Water Board consider the applicability of its trash policy biannually is consistent with the frequency with which it must review those waters in the State that are impaired by trash.


Recommendation #12 To: Water Resources Control Board

To ensure that information regarding funding options available to local jurisdictions is consistent and current, the State Water Board and regional boards should work together to provide accurate information on their websites that is readily accessible, and the State Water Board and regional boards should remove outdated information by May 2018.

1-Year Agency Response

Staff in the State Water Board's Division of Financial Assistance (DFA) were assigned to go through all DFA web pages to identify and remove outdated information. DFA staff have also worked with the Regional Boards to identify and remove outdated information on Regional Board web pages. The removal of outdated information has been completed. DFA staff worked with Regional Board staff to update all of the Regional Boards' web pages to ensure information on funding options is current and consistently displayed. DFA will periodically monitor the Regional Board Storm Water Program websites to ensure funding information is current.

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

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


6-Month Agency Response

In progress. Staff in Division of Financial Assistance (DFA)have been assigned to go through all DFA web pages to identify and remove outdated information. DFA staff have worked with the Regional Boards to identify and remove outdated information on Regional Board web pages. The removal of outdated information has been completed. Updating the Regional Boards' web pages to ensure information on funding options is current and consistently displayed is still in progress.

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

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

The State Water Board indicates that it is currently working with the regional water boards to ensure that information is consistent among the regional boards' websites.


60-Day Agency Response

Staff in the Division of Financial Assistance (DFA)have been assigned to go through all DFA web pages and identify and remove outdated information. DFA staff are also reviewing Regional Board web pages to identify outdated information. DFA staff will assist Regional Board staff in correcting any Regional Board web pages as appropriate.

  • Estimated Completion Date: May 2018
  • Response Date: April 2018

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


Recommendation #13 To: Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board

To ensure that information regarding funding options available to local jurisdictions is consistent and current, the State Water Board and regional boards should work together to provide accurate information on their websites that is readily accessible, and the State Water Board and regional boards should remove outdated information by May 2018.

1-Year Agency Response

To the extent possible, the Central Valley Water Board has updated its website to reflect available funding options and remove outdated information. The Central Valley Water Board will continue to update this website with pertinent information generated in response to applicable recommendations resulting from this audit.

  • Completion Date: September 2018
  • Response Date: February 2019

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


6-Month Agency Response

To the extent possible, the Central Valley Water Board has updated its website to reflect available funding options and remove outdated information. The Central Valley Water Board will continue to update this website with pertinent information generated in response to applicable recommendations resulting from this audit.

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

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

Although the Central Valley Water Board states that it has removed all outdated information from its website, the State Water Board indicated in recommendation 12 that it is currently working with the regional water boards to ensure that information is consistent among the regional boards' websites.


60-Day Agency Response

To the extent possible, the Central Valley Water Board has updated its website to reflect available funding options and remove outdated information. The Central Valley Water Board will continue to update this website with pertinent information generated in response to applicable recommendations resulting from this audit.

https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/centralvalley/water_issues/storm_water/municipal_permits/

  • Completion Date: April 2018
  • Response Date: April 2018

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

The Central Valley Water Board has removed outdated information from its website. However, the State Water Board has yet to ensure that the website contains consistent information, as it indicates in its response to Recommendation 12.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

Recommendation #14 To: Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board

To ensure that information regarding funding options available to local jurisdictions is consistent and current, the State Water Board and regional boards should work together to provide accurate information on their websites that is readily accessible, and the State Water Board and regional boards should remove outdated information by May 2018.

1-Year Agency Response

See https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/losangeles/water_issues/programs/grants_loans/. As reported in the 60-day response in April 2018, the Los Angeles Water Board redesigned and fully updated its financial assistance webpage in late 2016, prior to the audit. A remnant, outdated webpage was identified and removed during the course of the audit. The Los Angeles Water Board ensures consistency with funding information provided on the State Board's website by employing hyperlinks to pertinent webpages, including that of the Division of Financial Assistance. The Los Angeles Water Board has also further improved accessibility to its financial assistance page by adding it to the "Featured Topics" banner at the bottom of its home page in addition to its previous placement under "Quick Links" and "Programs." The Los Angeles Water Board also includes significant upcoming opportunities to learn about or apply for funding under "Announcements" on its home page. See https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/losangeles/.

  • Completion Date: April 2018
  • Response Date: February 2019

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


6-Month Agency Response

See https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/losangeles/water_issues/programs/grants_loans/. As reported in the 60-day response in April 2018, the Los Angeles Water Board redesigned and fully updated its financial assistance webpage in late 2016, prior to the audit. A remnant, outdated webpage was identified and removed during the course of the audit. The Los Angeles Water Board ensures consistency with funding information provided on the State Board's website by employing hyperlinks to pertinent webpages, including that of the Division of Financial Assistance. The Los Angeles Water Board has also further improved accessibility to its financial assistance page by adding it to the "Featured Topics" banner at the bottom of its home page in addition to its previous placement under "Quick Links" and "Programs." The Los Angeles Water Board also includes significant upcoming opportunities to learn about or apply for funding under "Announcements" on its home page. See https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/losangeles/. The Los Angeles Water Board also routinely updates its financial assistance webpage and did so most recently on 7/30/18.

  • Completion Date: April 2018
  • Response Date: August 2018

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

Although the Los Angeles Water Board states that it removed all outdated information from its website, the State Water Board indicated in recommendation 12 that it is currently working with the regional water boards to ensure that information is consistent among the regional boards' websites.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

60-Day Agency Response

The Los Angeles Regional Water Board redesigned and fully updated its financial assistance webpage in late 2016, prior to the audit. A remnant, outdated webpage was identified and removed during the course of the audit. In early April 2018, Los Angeles Regional Water Board staff re-checked the financial assistance webpage information, including all links to funding programs and resources, to ensure its currency and accuracy. See https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/losangeles/water_issues/programs/grants_loans/. The Los Angeles Regional Water Board ensures consistency with funding information provided on the State Water Board's website by employing hyperlinks to pertinent webpages, including that of the Division of Financial Assistance. The Los Angeles Regional Water Board has also further improved accessibility to its financial assistance page by adding it to the "Featured Topics" banner at the bottom of its home page in addition to its previous placement under "Quick Links" and "Programs." The Los Angeles Regional Water Board also includes significant upcoming opportunities to learn about or apply for funding under "Announcements" on its home page. See https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/losangeles/.

  • Completion Date: April 2018
  • Response Date: April 2018

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

The Los Angeles Regional Water Board has removed outdated information from its website. However, the State Water Board has yet to ensure that the website contains consistent information, as it indicates in its response to Recommendation 12.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

Recommendation #15 To: San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board

To ensure that information regarding funding options available to local jurisdictions is consistent and current, the State Water Board and regional boards should work together to provide accurate information on their websites that is readily accessible, and the State Water Board and regional boards should remove outdated information by May 2018.

1-Year Agency Response

The San Francisco Bay Region's website refers to the State Water Board website for funding information. As noted in the response to recommendation number 12, staff at the State Water Board have gone through all Division of Financial Assistance (DFA) web pages and identified and removed outdated information. DFA staff also reviewed Regional Board web pages to identify outdated information.

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

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


6-Month Agency Response

The San Francisco Bay Region's website refers to the State Water Board website for funding information. As noted in the response to recommendation number 12, Staff at the State Water Board have been assigned to go through all Division of Financial Assistance (DFA) web pages and identify and remove outdated information. DFA staff are also reviewing Regional Board web pages to identify outdated information.

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

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

Although we determined that the San Francisco Bay Water Board removed outdated information from its website, the State Water Board indicated in recommendation 12 that it is currently working with the regional water boards to ensure that information is consistent among the regional boards' websites.


60-Day Agency Response

The San Francisco Bay Region's website refers to the State Water Board website for funding information. As noted in the response to recommendation number 12, Staff at the State Water Board have been assigned to go through all Division of Financial Assistance (DFA) web pages and identify and remove outdated information. DFA staff are also reviewing Regional Board web pages to identify outdated information.

  • Estimated Completion Date: May 2018
  • Response Date: April 2018

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

The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board has removed outdated information from its website. However, the State Water Board has yet to ensure that the website contains consistent information, as it notes in its response to Recommendation 12.


Recommendation #16 To: Water Resources Control Board

To better provide comprehensive information on funding sources and storm water financial management for local jurisdictions, the State Water Board should create a committee by August 2018 to identify the informational needs of jurisdictions and create best practices for storm water financial management and financial approaches. This committee should include representatives from the State Water Board's Division of Financial Assistance, the regional boards, and various local jurisdictions.

60-Day Agency Response

The Stormwater Funding Sub-Committee was established in October 2016, and meets approximately 2-4 times year, as a part of the Strategy to Optimize Resource Management of Stormwater (STORMS) Core Implementation Committee of stakeholders. The committee includes representatives from the State Water Board Divisions of Financial Assistance and Division of Water Quality, the Regional Water Boards, EPA Region 9, California Coastkeeper Alliance (committee lead), California Coalition for Environmental and Economic Balance, Association of California Water Agencies, California Association of Sanitation Agencies, California Stormwater Quality Association, and various cities and counties. The committee was established to provide input and recommendations to Water Board staff implementing the STORMS project to Eliminate Barriers to Funding Stormwater Programs and Identify Funding for Stormwater Capture and Use Projects, but has also become a platform for discussion of additional stormwater funding related items. Items discussed by this committee include, but are not limited to, various stormwater funding sources, funding gaps, tools available and necessary for municipalities, and current legislative efforts.

  • Completion Date: October 2016
  • Response Date: April 2018

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

Although the State Water Board has a committee that it uses to identify best practices for storm water financial management, we encourage the committee to solicit and include information from the local jurisdictions that bear the cost of implementing storm water projects. As we note on pages 33 and 34 of our audit report, the local jurisdictions we reviewed identified other funding sources aside from the grants offered by the State Water Board that helped them address their storm water requirements.


Recommendation #17 To: San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board

San Francisco Bay should comply with federal regulations and require local jurisdictions to report annually the projected and actual costs of complying with their permits.

1-Year Agency Response

The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Board will require cost reporting by local jurisdiction, using the guidance developed by the State Water Board described in Recommendation number 6.

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

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

We assessed the status of this recommendation as fully implemented based on the State Water Board's development of cost tracking guidance. As we describe in our assessment of that related recommendation, the guidance does not currently include detailed descriptions of the various cost categories. Accordingly, San Francisco Bay should ensure that any subsequent revisions to the guidance be incorporated in its requirements to local jurisdictions.


6-Month Agency Response

The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Board will require cost reporting by local jurisdictions once the State Water Board develops the guidance described in Recommendation number 6 for local jurisdictions on methods for tracking the cost of storm water management.

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

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


60-Day Agency Response

The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Board will require cost reporting by local jurisdictions once the State Water Board develops the guidance described in Recommendation number 6 for local jurisdictions on methods for tracking the cost of storm water management.

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

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


Recommendation #18 To: Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board

Los Angeles should correct its pollutant control plan where it miscalculated two pollutant limits.

1-Year Agency Response

In progress. The Los Angeles Water Board is scheduled to reconsider the Dominguez Channel and Greater Los Angeles / Long Beach Harbor Waters Toxic Pollutants TMDL in fiscal year 2018-19. Board staff held a public meeting on June 8, 2018 to discuss the reconsideration with the regulated community, including MS4 permittees, and other stakeholders. As part of the scheduled reconsideration, Board staff will propose correction of the numeric targets for two of the individual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), methylnaphthalene and dibenz[a,h]anthracene. For these two PAHs, the incorrect thresholds were selected from the NOAA Screening Quick Reference Tables. However, these corrections will not affect the pollutant load or waste load allocations assigned to discharges in the TMDL because the load and waste load allocations are based on a correct numeric target for total PAHs, and not the incorrect targets for the two individual PAHs. See https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/losangeles/water_issues/programs/tmdl/docs/R11-008_RB_BPA.pdf.

  • Estimated Completion Date: June 2019
  • Response Date: February 2019

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


6-Month Agency Response

In progress. The Los Angeles Water Board is scheduled to reconsider the Dominguez Channel and Greater Los Angeles / Long Beach Harbor Waters Toxic Pollutants TMDL in fiscal year 2018-19. Board staff held a public meeting on June 8, 2018 to discuss the reconsideration with the regulated community, including MS4 permittees, and other stakeholders. As part of the scheduled reconsideration, Board staff will propose correction of the numeric targets for two of the individual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), methylnaphthalene and dibenz[a,h]anthracene. For these two PAHs, the incorrect thresholds were selected from the NOAA Screening Quick Reference Tables. However, these corrections will not affect the pollutant load or waste load allocations assigned to discharges in the TMDL because the load and waste load allocations are based on a correct numeric target for total PAHs, and not the incorrect targets for the two individual PAHs. See https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/losangeles/water_issues/programs/tmdl/docs/R11-008_RB_BPA.pdf.

  • Estimated Completion Date: June 2019
  • Response Date: August 2018

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


60-Day Agency Response

In progress. The Los Angeles Regional Water Board is scheduled to reconsider the Dominguez Channel and Greater Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbor Waters Toxic Pollutants TMDL in fiscal year 2018-19. As part of the scheduled reconsideration, Board staff will propose correction of the numeric targets for two of the individual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), methylnaphthalene and dibenz[a,h]anthracene. For these two PAHs, the incorrect thresholds were selected from the NOAA Screening Quick Reference Tables. However, these corrections will not affect the pollutant load or waste load allocations assigned to discharges in the TMDL because the load and waste load allocations are based on a correct numeric target for total PAHs, and not the incorrect targets for the two individual PAHs. See https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/losangeles/water_issues/programs/tmdl/docs/R11-008_RB_BPA.pdf.

  • Estimated Completion Date: June 2019
  • 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.