Monrovia could see reimbursement for water clean-up
Monrovia could get some money back for keeping stormwater clean, according to a California Supreme Court ruling on Aug. 29. The issue is far from resolved, but Monrovia City Manager Oliver Chi said reimbursement could provide much-needed assistance with water management programs across Southern California.
The case revolved around the costs of inspecting commercial and industrial sites for water pollution and installing trash bins at transit stops to keep garbage out of storm drains. The County of Los Angeles argued that these were state mandates (instead of federal ones). Since the court agreed, those mandates are now considered unfunded state programs, and cities that spent money complying could be due for reimbursement of those costs.
Monrovia is also part of the Rio Hondo/San Gabriel Water Quality Group. The group has called for the implementation of $1.4 billion worth of stormwater improvement projects by 2028. Chi said in a statement that this will put a significant financial strain on Monrovia.
First, the courts must decide if reimbursements are in order. Cities have other options, and what those options are will be determined in the near future. But Chi said that if reimbursements go through, Monrovia will be in a better position to fund further stormwater improvements.
“The ruling by the Supreme Court was important for counties and cities that own or operate a stormwater system within their jurisdiction,” Chi said. “Especially given that regulatory requirements for discharges from those systems have become increasingly onerous and costly.”
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