With the discovery on the Owens Dry Lake of archaeological remains of Paiute Indians and a legal fight over more dry lake clean-up, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Air Pollution Control District remain at odds. There are other problems, too.
The Los Angeles Times recently revealed that an area designated for clean-up of dry lake dust held remains of Paiute Indians, reported historically to have been killed in the 1800s by white settlers. This discovery would mean around 328 acres of the Phase 7a clean-up project would remain in question. This is a project that was supposed to be done four years ago. DWP got extensions with the new due date at the end of this year.
APCD Director Ted Schade said DWP finished their Environmental Impact Report on this project, but eliminated the 328 acres of the archaeological site. Schade is not letting DWP off the hook. The two sides, he said, need to talk.
Still at the center of a lawsuit is yet another part of the lake bed that APCD ordered DWP to clean up. LA accused APCD of unfair regulation and filed a suit. The California Air Resources Board is the main defendant, but APCD is also named. The order involves 3.6 square miles. The clock is still ticking on this clean-up order. DWP has to produce at EIR by next February, in spite of the lawsuit.
One more thing – DWP appealed fees imposed by our local air pollution control district, claiming they don’t want to pay for certain things. $2 million is at stake. The two sides appeared for an appeal hearing in front of the State Air Board last Friday. Prior to that, DWP had lost yet another lawsuit involving other APCD fees. Director Schade said, “DWP keeps filing lawsuits, and they keep getting their butts kicked.”