Posted on July 31, 2011 by spoutingoff
Environmental champion Fran Pavley got screwed in legislative redistricting.
With the world focused on the silly brinksmanship in Congress over the national debt ceiling, there hasn’t been enough focus on the ramifications of the recent California legislative redistricting process. The final maps, created by an independent body called the California Citizens Redistricting Committee, just came out last week and the new districts are substantially different. For the L.A. County coast, the changes are pretty dramatic.
Overall, our local coast didn’t do that well during redistricting. Separating the ports in different congressional and senate districts is not good for San Pedro Bay and misses the opportunity to integrate environmental protection and cleanup efforts among the ports, and L.A. and Long Beach. The new state senate districts separate some of the strongest supporters of Santa Monica Mountains conservation from the actual resource. That makes it tougher for Westside residents to help out on those issues.
Filed under: Environmental Governance, Environmental Leaders, Heal the Bay, Legislation, Port of Los Angeles | Tagged: California redistricting, environment, Santa Monica Bay | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 5, 2010 by spoutingoff
New trash limits for S.M. Bay may make this depressing scene a thing of the past.
The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board voted 4-1 Thursday to approve tough, new marine debris limits for Santa Monica Bay. The limits, based on 11 similar trash Total Maximum Daily Loads in the Los Angeles region, give Santa Monica Bay watershed cities, Los Angeles County and land management agencies like State Parks, eight years to reduce the amount of trash going into the Bay to zero. Compliance can be met by installing full capture mechanisms like trash screens and inserts or other state-approved devices. All devices must be adequately designed, operated and maintained to meet state requirements. Full adherence is mandated within eight years.
The action marks the last trash abatement measure required under the 1999 TMDL Consent Decree among Heal the Bay, the Santa Monica Baykeeper, the NRDC and the federal EPA. The vote truly marks a major water quality milestone. Congratulations to the Regional Water Board members for their groundbreaking leadership on trash abatement regulations.
Filed under: Environmental Governance, Heal the Bay, Marine Debris | Tagged: TMDL, Marine Debris, Santa Monica Bay, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, trash limits | 2 Comments »
Posted on June 2, 2010 by spoutingoff
A judge's ruling puts S.M. Bay ocean users at risk.
Los Angeles County’s relentless pursuit of saving a buck at the expense of public health was once again rewarded Wednesday morning.
On a technicality, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Yaffe (the same judge who decided that a full blown EIR was needed to ban plastic bags in Manhattan Beach) ruled that the Regional Water Board’s action to put the Santa Monica Beach Bacteria Total Maximum Daily Load into the county stormwater permit was illegal.
In essence, the judge ruled that one lawyer can’t represent the Regional Water Board as an advisor and as an “advocate” (according to the judge) for a particular position.
Much to the relief and short-term financial benefit of the county, the judge refused to hear the merits of the case.
Filed under: Environmental Governance, Sewage, Urban Runoff | Tagged: Judge David Yaffe, Santa Monica Bay, stormwater permit, TMDLs | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 14, 2010 by spoutingoff
Majora Carter keynoted the "State of the Bay" event, sharing tips on how to green the jobs sector.
The Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission hosted a daylong conference yesterday on the overall state of the bay. The well-attended event at LMU blended science and policy, focusing on such topics as marine debris, climate change, invasive species, contaminated fish risk communication, beach water quality and marine protected areas.
The high points of the day included an overview of the well-written State of the Bay report, which chronicles the status of various bay water quality and coastal resources. Mas Dojuri, the director of the city of Los Angeles’ Environmental Monitoring Division, and Rich Ambrose, a marine ecology professor from UCLA, made a compelling presentation that showcased reductions in sewage solids to the bay and improved summer beach water quality. The scientists also highlighted the current state of bay watershed habitats.
The lunchtime keynote speech from Majora Carter, one of the nation’s foremost environmental justice leaders, inspired the crowd. She gave an impassioned speech on the need and way to green even the most blighted urban environments.The founder of Sustainable South Bronx emphasized the need for community involvement to successfully green education and job programs.
Filed under: Environmental Leaders, Environmental Restoration, Heal the Bay | Tagged: Majora Carter, Santa Monica Bay, Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission, Shelley Luce | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 19, 2009 by spoutingoff
L.A. County legal strategy puts swimmers at risk
This week, the State Water Board heard Los Angeles County’s appeal on the inclusion of enforceable beach water quality standards in the county’s stormwater permit. The county appealed the permit despite the fact that the L.A. Regional Board modified the permit nearly three years ago and it has been relatively successful in getting a lot of beaches cleaned up of fecal pollution during the summer months.
The county’s dubious arguments stem from its challenge to putting enforceable numeric limits in the permit. In the case of Santa Monica Bay, the limits are that every beach along the Bay must comply with fecal bacteria water quality standards 100% of the time from April through October. Some beaches, like Santa Monica Pier, Dockweiler at Ballona Creek, and Malibu Surfrider exceed limits dozens of times each summer.
Filed under: Public Health, Heal the Bay, Sewage | Tagged: Clean Water Act, Public Health, Water Quality, State Water Board, EPA, Sewage Treatment, Santa Monica Bay | Leave a Comment »