Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

State Department of Finance v. Commission on State Mandates

ELR Citation: 43 ELR 20230
Nos. B237153, (Cal. Ct. App. 2d Dist., 10/16/2013)

A California appellate court held that California's Commission on State Mandates erred in ruling that certain requirements set forth in a municipal stormwater sewer permit for Los Angeles County constituted unfunded state mandates subject to reimbursement under the state constitution. Although the permit was governed by both federal and state law, the Commission determined that the permit contained additional state requirements—to install trash receptacles at transit stops and to conduct inspections of commercial, industrial, and construction sites—not found in the CWA and its implementing regulations. As such, they were state mandates. But in reaching its determination, the Commission failed to apply the CWA's "maximum extent practicable" standard. Here, even though the federal regulations do not expressly spell out the specific permit requirements at issue, the requirements further the CWA's goal of reducing pollution to the maximum extent practicable. Accordingly, they are federal mandates.