Last fallís stormwater hearing results in legislation

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Jan. 13, 2012 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Early in 2011 the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) issued a draft proposal for stormwater runoff permit that would force  businesses and public agencies to comply with several new requirements that are over and above what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mandates and would result in hundreds of millions of dollars in additional costs with no proven environmental benefits.  More than 240 trade agencies, public entities, legislators and businesses have objected to this “Industrial Stormwater Permit.

Opponents have been frustrated with SWRCB unwillingness to conduct a cost/benefit analysis or to look at less costly alternative methods to control stormwater runoff.  Workshops to discuss the issues were not scheduled and stakeholders were prohibited from meeting with Board Members.

In October, Senator Rod Wright (D-Los Angeles) chaired a meeting of the Senate’s Select Committee on Job Creation and Retention to hear from the SWRCB and learn more about the concerns of stakeholders. New legislation has been introduced to address some of these concerns:

  • SB 964 (Wright) excludes from the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) the exemption for waste discharge requirements, general permits, and waivers that apply on a statewide, regionwide or industrywide basis, thus subjecting such actions to the APA.

  • SB 965 (Wright) specifies that the issuance of a waiver or waste discharge requirement or permit that applies statewide, regionwide or industrywide (and not to a person) are not to be regarded as decisions under the adjudicative provisions of the APA.  As a result, the prohibitions on ex parte communications in that portion of the APA will not apply.

CMTA looks forward to supporting reasonable reforms to improve the quality of regulatory action by the SWRCB.

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