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Thursday, December 17, 2009

City of L.A. Surpasses Trash Limit Milestone of 50% Reduction

After investing nearly $50 million toward retrofitting 30,000 catch basins in the city to reduce trash and debris from entering our storm drains, the City of L.A. recently announced we have achieved an over 60% reduction in trash that enters Ballona Creek and the Los Angeles River.

Trash Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), which refers to the amount of trash pollutants that enter the stormwater system on a daily basis, surpassed the goal of a 50% reduction specified to the City by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Under the Clean Water Act the EPA is authorized to require states to develop lists of polluted water bodies. The law mandates that California establish priority rankings of pollutants (TMDLs) for these waters, that is, the maximum allowable amount of pollutants that are legally able to enter our waterways. In the case of trash, the City of Los Angeles was mandated to reach a 50% reduction. We are currently exceeding our goal in meeting these regulations.

In all it is estimated that over 2,300 tons of trash was diverted from reaching and polluting L.A.’s waterways and beaches as a result of the catch basin screen covers. The City projects that Trash TMDL requirements will be achieved three years ahead of schedule of the mandated 2016 deadline established by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (the water quality regulating arm of the EPA).

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