Budgetary Practices for State Stormwater Permit Compliance Programs

Since 2003 and, in some cases, earlier, state DOTs have been required to develop and implement stormwater management programs to meet Section 402 - National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) requirements of the Clean Water Act, known as the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit. State DOTs are regulated as Non-Traditional MS4 owner/operators of storm sewer systems. The MS4 permit places requirements on the management of stormwater quality and quantity and allows state DOTs to discharge stormwater runoff from their storm sewer systems. Additionally, a standard permit provision is that state DOTs must maintain adequate funding and staffing to meet the requirements of the permit. Like other state DOT programs, the MS4 stormwater programs are subject to risks such as budget shortfalls, project overruns, diversion of funds to address emergencies or non-compliance situations, and staff turnover and the associated loss of institutional knowledge. MS4 permits are renewed every 5 years with requirements typically escalating with each permit reissuance. To address these risks and uncertainties, state DOTs currently implement a wide variety of budget development and program cost determination practices and procedures. These practices vary from highly centralized models for determining permit program budgets to decentralized models where budgets are allowed to vary significantly across DOT districts. Some practices involve no budgeting at all, with DOTs taking the position that certain permit compliance programs are ancillary activities undertaken in pursuit of achieving a larger primary objective. The objective of this synthesis is to document current state DOT MS4 budget development and program cost determination practices.


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  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $55000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-05, Topic 56-13

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Synthesis

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Carbray, Emi

  • Start Date: 20240528
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01920219
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-05, Topic 56-13
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 30 2024 4:10PM