In Sacramento today, the California Air Resources Board planned to hear an appeal by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The agency opposes an order from the Air Pollution Control District here to clean up more dust at the Owens Dry Lake Bed.
Under a state plan which LADWP signed, APCD Director Ted Schade determined that in order to meet federal air quality standards DWP needed to clean up 2.9 square miles more at the Dry Lake. In earlier years, DWP had admitted causing the Owens Lake to dry up because of water diversions to the aqueduct.
DWP attorneys appealed Ted Schade’s order, claiming that the APCD considers itself “above the law.” Appeal briefs point to the possible clean-up cost of $440 million and says it’s “not cost effective.” LA also argues that the State Lands Commission, owners of the lake bed, are the ones who should address Clean Air Act issues.
Ted Schade has repeatedly pointed out that the APCD does not dictate which measures LADWP has to use to clean up the dust pollution. The Air Resources Board staff had issued a report to say that the APCD used reasonable methods and decisions to order more dust clean-up. The ARB staff said LADWP did not prove otherwise.