Tag Archives: Los Angeles

Army Corps Approves Los Angeles River Restoration Plan

In May, the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) announced its approval for Alternative 20, a plan to restore an 18-km (11-mi) stretch of the Los Angeles River that runs from Glendale to downtown Los Angeles. Since the 1930s, most of the 82-km (51-mi) river has been lined with concrete and serves as a flood control […]

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Supreme Court Declines to Hear Los Angeles Stormwater Case

On May 5, after six years of litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court declined Los Angeles County and its Flood Control District’s request to review a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling. For now, the ruling that found the county and district liable for violating water quality standards established in a 2001 stormwater permit will stand. […]

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California Governor Signs Bill Providing $687 Million for Drought Relief

On March 1, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a $687 million emergency drought relief package following his January declaration of a drought State of Emergency. The package includes $549 million from the accelerated expenditure of voter-approved bonds for infrastructure grants for local and regional projects that are already planned or partially completed. Projects […]

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LA Flood Control District Asks Supreme Court to Review Stormwater Liability Ruling

In a Jan. 24 certiorari petition, the Los Angeles County Flood Control District asks the U.S. Supreme Court to rule again on whether the district is liable for exceeding water quality limits in protected waters. The district participates in a multijurisdictional stormwater permit, and data cannot conclusively show that excess water pollution is coming from […]

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Public Comment Opens on Bay Delta Conservation Plan

California’s $25-billion Bay Delta Conservation Plan, which will deliver water to Southern California, is now open for public comment. The plan is an application to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a 50-year permit. It includes two 56-km (35-mi) long tunnels and three intake pumps […]

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California Court Rules That MS4 Permit Requirements Are Federal Mandates

In mid-October, a California appeals court ruled in affirmation with a state trial court that stormwater permit requirements are federal mandates not subject to state reimbursement. The case involved Los Angeles County’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Permit (MS4), which requires the county to reduce discharged pollution by the maximum extent practicable. The permit adopted […]

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Los Angeles County Found Liable for Violating Stormwater Permit

On Aug. 8, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Los Angeles County Flood District is liable for violating its municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permit. Its monitoring station data allegedly documented discharges of pollutants higher than those established in the permit. However, the county argued that the monitoring data was not […]

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Los Angeles Governing Body Halts Stormwater Fee Vote

Following a public hearing on Jan. 15 at which nearly 200 residents voiced concerns, Los Angeles County officials decided to rethink the county’s proposed stormwater parcel fee. The goal of the fee was to raise $290 million per year to improve stormwater management and comply with new state regulations. However, as a result of the […]

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Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Flood Control District

On Jan. 8, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled to overturn a Ninth Circuit Court decision. The Supreme Court supported Los Angeles County’s view that water flowing between natural and channelized sections is simply a transfer of the same water and should not be seen as a permitted discharge. “Under the Clean Water Act, does […]

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U.S. Supreme Court Hears Controversial Case on Stormwater

On Dec. 4, the U.S. Supreme Court heard a case — L.A. County Flood Control District vs. National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) — focusing on stormwater discharges in the Los Angeles area. During oral arguments, all parties in the case agreed that the transfer of water through concrete-lined sections of the Los Angeles and San […]

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