Friday, April 30, 2010

LA County Flood Control District -- Reacts to Court Ruling on Water Quality

Los Angeles County Flood Control District – Press Release


Don't Blame the Drain, Says Court Ruling

Federal Court judge rules in favor of the County of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County Flood Control District on key elements of landmark water quality lawsuit.

 ALHAMBRA, Calif.—In a decision with long-term implications for water quality regulators throughout the state, a federal court judge ruled this week that the drainage system managed by the Los Angeles County Flood Control District is not directly responsible for diminished water quality in the Santa Clara, Los Angeles, San Gabriel rivers and Malibu Creek. According to the April 26 ruling by Judge A. Howard Matz of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, "...[The Natural Resources Defense Council and Santa Monica Baykeeper] have failed to establish a basis for the Court to find that standards-exceeding pollutants passed through County or District outflows upstream of the mass emissions stations..."

Mark Pestrella, a Flood Control District official and deputy director for the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works, said he was very pleased with the court's ruling.

"The judge's decision affirms a principle long held by Flood Control District officials: that a scientific approach is needed to improve the condition of local waterways and that protecting the water quality of the region is a responsibility shared by our residents and the 84 local municipalities within the Los Angeles Basin," he said.

The Flood Control District manages a world-class system of dams, channels and storm drains to protect the Los Angeles Basin from regional flooding and conserve rainwater. The Flood Control District, in conjunction with the cities within its boundaries, has invested heavily in clean water technologies and in District facilities to help cities and communities improve the quality of the water they contribute to the District's regional backbone flood protection system—diverting flows to sewage treatment facilities during summer months, installing filters on District catch basins, and constructing treatment wetlands to remove pollutants.

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