LADWP and APCD reach agreement on dust control and cultural resources

owens_dry_lake.jpgGREAT BASIN AIR POLLUTION CONTROL DISTRICT AND THE LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER REACH AGREEMENT TO SAFEGUARD NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURAL RESOURCES, REDUCE DUST FROM THE KEELER DUNES, AND IMPLEMENT NEW WATER-SAVING DUST CONTROL MEASURES  (Press Release)

[Los Angeles, CA and Bridgeport, CA, June 27, 2013] — The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District (Great Basin) today announced that the two agencies have reached a major agreement regarding future dust control on portions of Owens Lake, preservation of historic Native American artifacts and use of new water-saving dust control areas. The agreement includes the following:

• The creation of a Cultural Resource Task Force, which will include Local Tribal representatives, to evaluate how required dust pollution mitigation efforts can be managed in a way that best protects Native American cultural resources. To allow the Cultural Resource Task Force time to complete its work, Great Basin has agreed not to enforce penalties against LADWP for project delays that are the result of efforts to safeguard these important resources.

• The recognition by Great Basin and LADWP that future dust control orders will give due consideration to the shared goals of controlling air pollution and decreasing the use of water at Owens Lake. To help accomplish these mutual goals, Great Basin has agreed to approve two water-saving dust control methods: Reduced Thickness Gravel and Brine Shallow Flooding and to establish an expedited framework for evaluation of potential future other water- saving methods.

• A plan for reducing dust from the Keeler Dunes, which impacts the residents of Keeler, including LADWP employees. LADWP will make a single payment of $10 million as a public benefit contribution to Great Basin for the air district to undertake designing, implementing and maintaining a dust control project at the Keeler Dunes.

“This agreement expedites the control of health-impacting air pollution from the Keeler Dunes while acknowledging the importance of saving fresh water and protecting cultural resources,” said Great Basin Air Pollution Control Officer Ted Schade. “It also shows that Great Basin and LADWP can work together to acknowledge and balance each other’s needs.”

“We believe that today’s agreement represents a first step toward resolving more of the outstanding issues we face as we attempt to safeguard scarce water supplies while protecting air quality in the Owens Valley,” said LADWP General Manager Ron Nichols. “I especially want to thank the key parties who made this agreement possible, including Inyo County Supervisors Linda Arcularius and Matt Kingsley, Mono County Supervisor Larry Johnston, and Los Angeles Board of Water and Power Commissioners Richard Moss and Jonathan Parfrey, whose tireless work over the past two months made this significant agreement possible.”

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Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago

The longer term solution is underway. DWP has broken ground on two new water treatment plants in the San Fernando Valley that will allow the city to treat ground water contaminated by chromium six and other industrial pollutants that currently prevent LA from tapping much of the ground water resources… Read more »

Al Dykstra
Al Dykstra
9 years ago

I’ll believe it when I see it. I, for one, think LADWP will try to sell the water back to the Owens Valley municipal and agricultural users. Probably at an over-inflated price.

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago
Reply to  Al Dykstra

The settling basins for ground water banking have been there for all of my 55 years and then some, but have not been used in recent decades due to the amount of chromium six and TCE found in the aquifer. LA exploited it’s groundwater resources for many decades until chemical… Read more »

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
9 years ago

“if there weren’t places like LA that got dirty making things” Come on DT. Hard shell hidden extremities are no reliable defense to extinction or credible discourse I get your take about how LA does not need to be slammed with every other word coming out of every Eastern Sierra… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago
Reply to  Philip Anaya

People like you will not be happy until LA is gone. It won’t happen. Unlike the Owens Valley, LA has products to offer the world and people willing to put in some darn long hours to make it happen. All those homes and businesses you dismiss in that valley you… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago

Dear Desert, No one is saying LA should leave. We all realize they are dependent, in part, on the water from the Eastern Sierra. We want, from DWP, what we want from all people – ethical, considerate behavior like that of a neighbor or partner. Our news organization hears from… Read more »

Rosie D
Rosie D
9 years ago
Reply to  Philip Anaya

I think you might like this Prophecy Philip A. This is the “dirty side of it all” “Only after the last tree has been cut down- Only after the last River has been poisened- Only after the last fish has been caught- Only then will you find that money cannot… Read more »

Feel for the city dwellers
Feel for the city dwellers
9 years ago
Reply to  Philip Anaya

I have nothing but pity in my heart for those who have no alternative than to live in any insanely overcrowded, polluted, and crime-infested community. But my pity does extend so far as those who must live in those conditions who feel obligated to put down those who have chosen… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago
Reply to  Philip Anaya

Good word Philip.

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago
Reply to  Philip Anaya

And you DT are blowing it …

Caustic style of communicating
Caustic style of communicating
9 years ago

Dear Desert, Can’t happen but notice how freely you like to categorize and stereotype people and entire groups. Ie. “…people like you..”etc. is not exactly the most civil (or intellectual) way to address a personal opinion. In fact, I don’t recall this type of rhetoric ever being so prominent in… Read more »

could not agree more
could not agree more
9 years ago

I cant even read anything written by “desert dingbat.”
I hate to say it, but it’s typical enviro-wackjob rhetoric, nothing more. It’s sad in a way… but oh well, life goes on.

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
9 years ago

Hey there DT People like me have a unique and lucky existence on the planet. My folks were WWII solders, one a 82nd Airborne trooper and the other a Brit truck driver and both were lucky to survive, find one another and end up with three of us in the… Read more »

Talon38c
Talon38c
9 years ago

There’s zero chance that LADWP will be able to make a dent in LA’s water supply deficit through groundwater improvements. A historical review of past UWMP (1985 through 2010), LADWP routinely projected improved supplies in excess of 100,000 AF. In the 1995 UWMP they projected supplies as high as 152,000… Read more »

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
9 years ago

Does this end the current litigation? It is time to apply those wasted dollars to solutions. Hats off to all those that worked so hard for this great news.

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago
Reply to  Philip Anaya

The press release did not say this ended the major litigation.
Benett

Al Dykstra
Al Dykstra
9 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

I think You’re correct, Benett. All I saw was something about mitigation for Keeler Dunes but nothing that really addresses the long term impact of the rape of the Owens Valley that has been carried out by LADWP for the past 100 years.

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago
Reply to  Al Dykstra

You are correct. That larger problem was not addressed.
BK

Ted Schade
Ted Schade
9 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Correct Benett. These were two issues that were likely headed for lawsuits that are resolved, for now. There are still two lawsuits (one regarding additional dust controls and one regarding fee payments) and three Air Resources Board appeals that have not been resolved. This takes a bit of patience. However,… Read more »

MJA
MJA
9 years ago

They will have to put gravel on the rest of the dried up valley someday too. =