Environment and Health


The Mandate: Municipalities that fall within the scope of the Municipal Stormwater Sewer System (MS4) program are required to comply with a series of stormwater management system mandates. Under the MS4 program, impacted municipalities are required, by the federal government, to implement best practices with respect to their oversight of stormwater in municipal systems. According to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation who administers the program, there are six minimum control measures that constitute best practices that all MS4 municipalities must implement. These requirements include the controlling of capital costs, maintenance costs, regulatory oversight costs and programmatic costs.

Read more: Inability to Establish Stormwater Utility Districts

The Mandate: Currently, General Municipal Law § 94 authorizes a municipality to earn a "fair return" from the operation of a water utility service.  This means a local government may use the "profits" or surplus resulting from the operation of the water utility system for any municipal purpose.  However, this same authority does not exist for municipal sewer utility systems.  General Municipal Law § 453 limits the use of sewer fund revenues to expenses directly related to the sewer system including operation, maintenance, repair, construction and indebtedness.

Read more: Prohibition Against Reasonable Return on Sewer Rents