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Malibu City Council Vote Expands Studies To Collect Needed Data to Improve Ocean Water Quality

 To ensure it has the best possible data to develop effective solutions for improving ocean water quality, the Malibu City Council voted Monday to fund an expansion of the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) studies of recurring water quality issues in the Malibu Lagoon and at Surfrider Beach and to pay for the agency and other scientists to present their findings to the public.

 The USGS conducted a water quality study at the two sites earlier this year, but ocean conditions prevented the collection of some of the data the USGS sought. The Council approved $49,200 for USGS to collect additional data and to present its findings to the “Headwaters to Ocean Conference” in Long Beach in October and to the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board on Nov. 5.

The Council’s vote also provided another $70,800, if needed, for other scientific research and presentations at the Nov. 5 meeting where the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board is scheduled to consider a proposed prohibition on onsite wastewater treatment systems in Malibu’s Civic Center area.


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New Construction Permit Will Reduce Pollution, Conserve Precious Water

The State Water Board approved its new construction stormwater permit on September 2, 2009. The statewide permit is designed to protect waterways and conserve water.  The Board’s vote is the first time California has limited storm water runoff pollution from construction sites by setting numeric limits. The permit is based on the approach that minimal requirements are needed for low-risk projects and become progressively more stringent for projects with a higher threat to water quality. It also identifies appropriate control requirements based on the risk of sediment pollution running off the site. 

The purpose of the new permit is to allow construction activity without damaging California’s water quality. The permit regulates storm water pollution by controlling discharges from construction projects that disturb an acre or more of land.  Residential, private, and public construction projects would be affected by the proposed rules, which are aimed at protecting California waterways. To do that, pollution, like sediment, chemicals, cement, and trash, is kept out of storm drains and waterways that lead to lakes, bays or the ocean.  A general construction permit streamlines the construction application process by applying statewide standards while insuring that water quality regulatory requirements are met. 

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