New California Storm Water Runoff Rules Could Cost Cities Billions

Regional water board regulations place restrictions on 33 pollutants.

Newly approved rules could compel cities in California's Los Angeles County to spend billions to prevent pollution from surface runoff. In Los Angeles, compliance costs could reach an estimated $5 billion to $8 billion in the next 20 years, said Shahram Kharaghani, the city's watershed protection division manager. However, environmental groups argue that municipalities' cost estimates are unrealistic.

Cities in Los Angeles County face spending billions of dollars to clean up the dirty urban runoff that washes pollution into drains and coastal waters under storm water regulations approved Thursday night by the regional water board.

Despite more than two decades of regulation, runoff remains the leading cause of water pollution in Southern California, prompting beach closures and bans on eating fish caught in Santa Monica Bay.

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Source: L.A. Times.