Stormwater Vote: Board Lets Cities Off Hook
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In the face of serious concerns from Heal the Bay, our environmental partners and the USEPA, the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted the proposed stormwater permit for L.A. County on November 8.
Since the summer, the Regional Board had been mulling a new stormwater permit that contained weakened water quality protections, which Heal the Bay argued could result in dirtier water, and a higher risk of getting sick any time you swim or surf in our local waters.
At various public meetings we galvanized public support through our “Take L.A. by Storm” campaign and urged the Regional Board to keep strong protections that must require cities and dischargers to meet safe water quality standards.
Throughout this process, we disputed the ongoing and erroneous assertion that implementing stormwater pollution plans will cost regional cities billions of dollars. Numerous municipalities around the nation have undertaken innovative and effective stormwater projects that provide multiple benefits at limited expense.
While we are disappointed with the outcome and the lack of strong and enforceable numeric limits, there are some positives within the permit: Very strong low-impact development requirements, strict compliance with beach bacteria dry-weather TMDLs (Total Mazimun Daily Loads) and increased receiving water monitoring, for example.
We are grateful to everyone who supported “Take LA By Storm” over the last few months! Without everyone’s strong advocacy, the permit would be in a much weaker state and we wouldn’t have these strong requirements in place.
Rest assured that over the next few weeks, we’ll be working with our enviro colleagues to discuss options on how to proceed from here.