Los Angeles’s mayor had no comment in an LA Times story Sunday that said the Department of Water and Power does not want to clean up the rest of the Owens Dry Lake dust and wants the State Lands Commission to do it.
LADWP and the Great Basin Air Pollution Control District signed an agreement which requires ongoing assessment and additional clean-up of dust to meet federal standards. APCD required DWP to clean up 2.9 square miles more. DWP has appealed that order to the State Air Resources Control Board.
Times reporter Louis Sahagun quotes former DWP General Manager David Freeman, who said, “We are seeing a fundamental reversal of a decade of relative harmony.” Freeman also said that “If the mayor does not want to leave office labeled as a polluter, he ought to think twice about that.” Reporter Sahagun wrote that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa declined to comment.
The Times story says DWP claims they are not responsible for as much of the lake bed as APCD believes. LADWP Manager Ron Nichols said, “…the reality is that we don’t create all the dust out there, never did.” DWP now says that the State Lands Commission, which owns the lake bed, should be responsible for any additional clean-up. The story also quotes DWP officials as saying that if their appeal of the dust abatement wins, they will use about half the water on the lake, saving the average LA rate payer about $20 a year.
Air Pollution Director Ted Schade points out that the federal Clean Air Act does not say that close to completion of clean-up is good enough. Schade is quoted as saying that DWP is responsible for “controlling the lake bed that is exposed today because of their ongoing water diversions.”
Read the Times story at http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-owens-dust-20120610,0,6961679.story