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Los Angeles Imposes New Regulations to Combat Coastal Pollution

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RUNOFF-1-articleLargeAn initiative by local officials in Los Angeles, has an aim to reduce runoff pollution after rainfall events, while  solving the problem with depleting resources of drinking water in the region.

Water pollution due to runoff has been one of the major problems in the L.A. area. Various pesticides, heavy metals, animal waste and many other polluting materials are continuously being introduced to streams and rivers, and eventually to the Pacific Ocean.

The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board , however, has proposed a number of incentives for cities in the region to implement technologies for capturing and cleaning of rain water. The aims are to minimize runoff pollution and increase groundwater supplies, which could then become a source of drinking water.

According to Jared Blumenfeld, the Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator for California, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii, the investments that currently go towards water imports, could be minimized when systems for filtering and using rain water are installed.

The main problem of course is finding initial funds for these projects. Considering that many conventional techniques are very expensive, local officials have proposed a number of fees for property owners, but residents and major landowners, such as school districts, have already filed quite a number of complaints.

Seven of the ten most polluted beaches in California are located in the L.A. County alone. Health problems due to high toxin levels are noted in nearly 2 million people each year.

Under the new regulations, the regional water body is expected to issue numerous fines and penalties to agencies, who do not regulate pollution levels in the coastal cities. Of course there are many opponents of the new regulations, who state that the state water board is not comply with the state and federal guidelines.

The initiative, however,  deals with two of the main problems in the region- lack of drinking water, and cleaning the beach areas, which play a crucial role in the region’s economy.  Experts from the water board are convinced that investing in fresh water supply now could save a lot of money later.

 

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