According to the Los Angeles Daily Journal, a U.S. District judge in Fresno could issue an opinion “any day” on whether or not to dismiss the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power lawsuit against the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District and others.
Originally, LADWP filed suit against not only the APCD but also the EPA, BLM, State Lands Commission and State Air Board. Two weeks ago, LA dismissed all claims against the federal agencies. According to the Daily Journal, the Sate Attorney General’s office and the Great Basin say this suit should go to State Court.
The bottom line – DWP does not want to clean up any more of the Owens Dry Lake and the agency wants the court to strike down their signed dust clean-up agreement with APCD and the State Air Resources Board. They also want the court to say that the California Health and Safety Code which protects air quality here is violating the constitutional rights of LA people.
Great Basin Director Ted Schade maintains that he has laws and agreements to follow and that’s what he is doing. LADWP’s Marty Adams is quoted in the Daily Journal as saying that the cost of the dust control measures amounts to 15% of ratepayers’ monthly bills.
Schade’s order for LADWP to clean up 2.9 square miles more, according to the requirements of a signed agreement, sent DWP over the edge. Officials say it will cost $400 million more. LA accuses Great Basin of abuse of power along with the State Air Board. DWP officials have said they want the State Lands Commission to pay for some of the dust problem. LA has also claimed that the remaining dust is caused by something other than drying up Owens Lake.