May 24, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

LA County Supervisors Advance Plan for Stormwater System

Today, the Board of Supervisors voted to move forward with a comprehensive plan to increase local water supply and improve water quality. Known as the Safe Clean Water Program, the plan would fund projects and programs that capture, clean, and conserve stormwater, increasing local water supplies, improving water quality, and creating opportunities for new recreational green space and habitat making communities safer, greener, healthier and more livable. The Safe Clean Water Program was outlined in a Board Letter presented to the Supervisors today by the LA County Department of Public Works.
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Chair of the Board of Supervisors, said, “Every year a full 100 billion gallons of water run down our curbs and out into the ocean. We have to get water-wise. Extreme weather is our new normal and recurring cycles of drought are a reality. We need smarter ways to capture, clean and store stormwater, so we can increase our local water supply, clean that water, and save it for future use.”
The Safe Clean Water Program would be paid for by a parcel tax that will go before voters in November 2018. The 2.5 cent tax would only apply to impermeable areas such as concrete roofs and sidewalks. The measure will raise an estimated $300 million per year.

Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, co-author of the motion that directed the Department of Public Works to develop a long-term plan for improving water quality and supply, said, “The Safe Clean Water program not only dramatically increases the amount of stormwater we capture, it will provide health benefits to residents by reducing trash and toxins and increasing green space throughout the County. Clean water is not only an issue for coastal communities: what ends up in the ground and in our water affects us all. Everyone will benefit from improved water quality and enhanced water conservation efforts, including underserved communities with unique water needs.”

A diverse group of elected, business, public health and environmental leaders as well as firefighters have expressed support for the plan, commending the County’s action. Supporters cited a wide array of benefits, from securing future water supplies and improving water quality, to protecting marine life and adding much-needed green space to local communities.

“Capturing and cleaning stormwater is an imperative and an opportunity — work that is made more urgent by the effects of a changing climate,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The Safe, Clean Water program will help L.A. and cities across the County meet our obligations under the federal Clean Water Act — and put new momentum behind our efforts to conserve a precious resource, shield our communities from flooding, and protect waterways from pollution.” 

LA County Fire Department Chief Daryl L. Osby said, “Wildfires are putting new and greater demands on our water supply. Currently 100 billion gallons of precious water are not captured during storm run-off. Additionally, preserving our environment and its natural resources is extremely important to the mission of the Fire Department. We simply can’t afford to waste water anymore. Water is a firefighter’s best friend during several types of emergencies. The Safe Clean Water Program takes important steps toward securing our future water supply.” 

LA County’s Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer noted, “There is a direct connection between stormwater runoff and public health.  Pollution and toxins from stormwater pose a real public health threat, and the Safe Clean Water Program would help provide the resources to address it. Access to safe, clean water is a critical determinant of health, with social, economic, and environmental consequences.” 

Jerry Velasco, Chairman of the San Gabriel Valley Civic Alliance, a coalition of Business, Labor, Government, Education and Community groups, said, “I am very enthusiastic about this plan which will help ensure our future regional water supply. I hope voters will also support it because it represents sound,fiscally-prudent public policy that addresses an urgent need.”

Mark Gold, Associate Vice Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability at UCLA said, “Over fifty million people visit our beaches annually, and too often, many of them are unsafe for swimming due to polluted runoff.  Also, our beaches and rivers look like trash dumps after every rain, and stormwater runoff in our rivers, lakes and coastal waters is often toxic to a wide variety of aquatic life. If this measure is approved by the voters, it will be the most important water quality action in LA County history.”

If the measure passes, 40% of the revenue would return to cities for local priority projects; 50% would be returned proportionally to each of the region’s nine watersheds to fund projects best and most cost-effectively tackled at a regional scale that no individual city could do alone; and 10% of funds would go to the LA County Flood Control District for stormwater education, projects, and administration. Schools would be exempt from the parcel tax, and property owners who have recently made qualifying improvements to their properties would be eligible for credits.

“This is a historic opportunity to modernize LA County’s water infrastructure to meet the needs of the 21st Century,” said Mark Pestrella, Director of LA County Public Works. “The flood protection system designed and built in the 1940s and ‘50s has done an outstanding job managing flood risk within the LA Basin. But it was never designed to handle the tremendous population growth and urbanization that has contributed to the volume of pollutants we see in our waterways today. This program will continue the County’s mission of floodsafety while protecting water quality within our communities and providing water resiliency for current and future generations.”

in News
Related Posts

Road Closures Expected During Demolition Of Parking Structure Three: Santa Monica Beat – May 23rd, 2022

May 23, 2022

May 23, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* Free Donuts At Randy’s Donuts For National Doughnut Day* Road Closures Expected...

Los Angeles Metro Sees 15.9 Percent Increase in Median Rent

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Median rent of $2,258, according to recent report By Dolores Quintana The ongoing pandemic has exacerbated the issues of housing...

New Renderings for Frank Gehry Hotel Development in Santa Monica

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Project would include hotel, apartments, retail and a museum By Dolores Quintana Slowly but surely, plans for a  Frank Gehry-designed...

Shared Mobility Plummets in Santa Monica

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Recent report also shows that nearly half of riders make over $100,000 By Sam Catanzaro Shared mobility use in Santa...

Christopher Dishlip Selected as Santa Monica’s New Assistant Director of Public Works

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Public Works Director Rick Valte announced the selection of Christopher Dishlip as Santa Monica’s new Assistant Director of Public Works....

Letter to Editor: Response to Himmelrich’s “We Walk the Talk” Column

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

By Beau Marks As a Santa Monica resident, I am dismayed by Sue Himmelrich’s response (“We Walk the Talk,” Santa...

Motional And UberEats Launch Autonomous Deliveries In Santa Monica

May 18, 2022

May 18, 2022

There Are Plans For Expansion Into The Rest Of Los Angeles Motional, a global driverless technology leader, and Uber Technologies...

Winston Pies Opening Third Location In Santa Monica

May 18, 2022

May 18, 2022

The restaurant used to be known as ButterCrust Pies Winston Pies is staying in Santa Monica when opening their third...

Only 10 Vaquita Porpoises Survive, But The Species May Not Be Doomed

May 17, 2022

May 17, 2022

Hope remains for the porpoise species not only survive but thrive with human help. By Stuart Wolpert The vaquita porpoise,...

The American Cinematheque Brings “Bleak Week” To Santa Monica’s Aero Theatre And The Los Feliz Three Theatre

May 17, 2022

May 17, 2022

33 Films From 18 Countries In One Week. By Dolores Quintana Sometimes when things are tough and you’re feeling down,...

Man Who Murdered His Family Members Pleads Guilty To Five Other Killings

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Escobar injured an additional seven other people as well.  By Dolores Quintana A man, Ramon Escobar, has pleaded guilty to...

The price of gasoline in Los Angeles County Has Experienced The Largest Increase Since February

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Gasoline prices in Orange County Have Also Increased By Dolores Quintana Regular self-serve gasoline in the county of Los Angeles...

Santa Monica Travel Summit Of 2022 Returns To Take On Tomorrow

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

The Event Was Held At The Jonathan Club On Santa Monica Beach By Staff Writer The 2022 Santa Monica Tourism...

City Council Extends Santa Monica’s Parklet Program: Santa Monica Beat – May 16th, 2022

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* City Council Extends Santa Monica’s Parklet Program * Santa Monica High School Students...

1221 Ocean Avenue Complex Sold For Record Price

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Sold for a record price of $330 million. By Dolores Quintana The Irvine Company has sold 1221 Ocean Avenue to...