LA County Clean Water, Clean Beaches Measure

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The Los Angeles County Flood Control District is proposing to adopt a Clean Water, Clean Beaches Measure, which would establish an annual fee to pay for clean water programs. The proposed clean water fee would be imposed upon property owners within the Los Angeles County Flood Control District, which includes most of Los Angeles County (with the exception of portions of the Antelope Valley), for the purpose of improving water quality and reducing pollution from stormwater and urban runoff.

Stormwater and urban runoff flush bacteria, trash and other pollutants into gutters in streets and into storm drains and from there into lakes, rivers and the ocean and onto beaches. Waterways throughout Los Angeles County have been found to be polluted above acceptable levels under the federal Clean Water Act and other state and federal laws.

The proposed clean water fee would provide dedicated funding for local and regional projects and programs to help keep pollution out of stormwater and runoff, clean up pollution that flows into our waterways, and use stormwater and runoff to recharge groundwater supplies, which are an important source of drinking water. The fee could also be combined with other funding such as state and federal grants for multi-benefit projects that improve water quality and provide other public benefits as well.

On January 15, 2013, the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on the proposed Clean Water, Clean Beaches Measure. At this public hearing, the Board of Supervisors voted to continue the public hearing until March 12, 2013, which means the deadline to submit a protest has been extended to March 12, 2013. For more information about the January 15 proceedings, please visit the LA County Clean Water, Clean Beaches updated website.

The next steps involve the LA County Flood Control District finalizing the Clean Water, Clean Beaches Program and updating the Ordinance, Implementation Manual and associated program documents, based on input received from residents, municipalities, businesses, schools, the environmental community, and other organizations. The revisions include but are not limited to determining the feasibility of a sunset date for the Clean Water Fee, including more specifics about projects that would be funded and providing a method for providing incentives/credits to property owners who implement water quality improvement measures. On March 12, 2013, the LA County Flood Control District will report to the Board of Supervisors on the above-mentioned items. The Board may choose to close the Public Hearing or continue it further.

For more information or if you would like to receive another Notice, please call (800) 218-0018, M-Th, 8 am – 5 pm or e-mail your request for a new Notice (including your full name as it appears on the parcel’s deed along with the parcel’s address) to [email protected].

Photos courtesy of surfcrs and Water Global Partnership.

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Comments (17)

  1. Brian Adams
    December 15th, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Another unfunded mandate by the federal government thru the Clean Water Act, enforced by the EPA, that unfairly forces Cities, Counties and States to comply. Time to let the folks running this great nation of ours to only pass regulations that come with the monies to make it happen not just enforce it thru fines, charges, taxes and fees. Or lets organize another no tax group and make this unfunded mandate stuff stop. State of California is spending literally millions of dollars on their storm water program to try and comply with this unfunded mandate. It’s your tax dollars people. Now LA county is trying to charge people to implement another unfunded mandate. Tell the Federal Government it’s their idea and they need to pay for it.

    • LA Stormwater
      December 17th, 2012 at 2:56 pm

      Thanks for your comments, Brian. The Clean Water Clean Beaches Measure, which is being proposed by the Los Angeles County Flood Control District, will give LA County residents the opportunity to vote on whether they want to establish this fee. The County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the proposed Clean Water, Clean Beaches Measure on Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 9:30 a.m., Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, 500 West Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. We encourage you to visit http://www.LACountycleanwater.org, call (800) 218-0018 or e-mail [email protected] to learn more about the measure and have any questions answered.

  2. Chris Rowe
    December 30th, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    I have gone through all of my mail both first class and what looks like third class mail. I have owned this residence for more than 27 years. I cannot find the document that is in the link above.
    I do not believe that most people would have recognized this document as something related to the hearing in January – and that they were being asked to respond. When was the notice sent out?
    We have been barraged with election materials this fall, and we are now inundated with lettings from 501c3s and other groups asking us for donations before the end of the year.
    Was this document in an envelope? Could the post office have thought it was third class junk and not delivered it during the holidays!
    This is a scary way to tax us since I have no way to know the taxes that I would be assessed.

    • LA Stormwater
      January 2nd, 2013 at 11:19 pm

      Thanks, Chris, for your comments. We apologize for the delay in responding. Property owners received notices via US Mail during the first week of December, 2012. The Clean Water Clean Beaches Measure, which is being proposed by the Los Angeles County Flood Control District, will give LA County residents the opportunity to vote on whether they want to establish this fee. The County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the proposed Clean Water, Clean Beaches Measure on Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 9:30 a.m., Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, 500 West Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. We encourage you to visit http://www.LACountycleanwater.org, call (800) 218-0018 or e-mail [email protected] to learn more about the measure and have any questions answered.

  3. Chris Rowe
    January 5th, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    I have found my letter on the Clean Water Clean Beaches Measure. I found it with other mail from groups that were notifying me of meetings. It looks like any other notice from the EPA, DTSC, etc.
    I have communicated with a number of Neighborhood Council members as well as my neighbors. I have posted this issue on FACEBOOK to ask if others received the document. Only two people have replied to the affirmative – one said that she sent it in. I am very concerned that this is not adequate notice to the people. I will not be able to attend your hearing on the 15th.
    I have looked at your maps of projects in Los Angeles County. I think that the people need more information – is this measure just to clean and store water or is it for various river improvement projects. Some people want the river to be navigable for uses of canoes, kayaks, etc.
    Are we cleaning up this water so that less pollution runs into the ocean, are we cleaning up this water because of the LA County MS – 4 permit, or are we cleaning up this water for storage?
    Thank you.

    • LA Stormwater
      January 7th, 2013 at 10:41 am

      We are cleaning up LA’s waterways for myriad reasons, many of which you mentioned in your comments. The current LA County MS-4 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit mandates that Los Angeles reduce pollutants flowing into our local waterways. However, we are also cleaning up polluted urban runoff because of the detrimental impact that it has on our local beaches, beach goers, our economy and wildlife as well as finding ways to infiltrate this runoff back into local underground aquifers.

      Regarding your inability to attend the January 15 public hearing, we would recommend that you call the LA County Flood Control District at (800) 218-0018 or e-mail [email protected] to ensure that your concerns are addressed and entered into the public record.

  4. Jack Humphreville
    February 7th, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    What is the total cost of the entire project?

    When the City dumped its responsibility in the County’s lap, the City’s estimated cost was $8 billion over the next 20 years. That would imply a cost of $30 billion for the County. This in turn would require average revenue over the next 30 years of at least $1.5 billion, alot more than the $300 million you are asking for today. If assessed based on our property values, this would increase our real estate taxes by at least 15%.

    We need full and complete disclosure.

    • LA Stormwater
      February 7th, 2013 at 5:34 pm

      Great questions, Jack! We’ll do our best to get you some answers by next week.

      • LA Stormwater
        February 11th, 2013 at 2:03 pm

        The long term efforts and expense needed to implement the various projects, programs and services required to improve water quality and reduce stormwater and urban runoff pollution in Los Angeles County is conservatively estimated to be in the tens of billions of dollars. While studies and reports clearly identify a significant long term price tag to address water quality and stormwater runoff, no definitive annual cost has been identified. However, based on the information provided it is reasonable to conclude that the cost to improve water quality and reduce stormwater and urban runoff pollution in LA County on an annual basis will most certainly far exceed the revenues being proposed as the Clean Water Fee ($296,730,000 annually). Therefore, in addition to the fee, implementing and funding many of the projects and programs over the years within the various watershed areas and municipalities will also need to rely on federal and state grants/funds, existing local revenues, as well as other future revenue sources. We encourage you to submit your questions about the Clean Water, Clean Beaches measure to the lead agency, which is the LA County Flood Control District, via e-mail at [email protected]. We also encourage you to take a look at the LA County Water Quality Fee Engineer’s Report, which may provide you with additional answers to any questions you may have regarding this measure. It can be found here: http://www.lacountycleanwater.org/files/managed/Document/627/LA%20County%20Water%20Quality%20Fee%20Engineer%5C%27s%20Report%20%28Final%2011%2029%2012%20signed%29.pdf

  5. Martin Blythe
    February 7th, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    I’m in favor of the measure. But I would also like to see some incentives for homeowners introduced at a later date. May I suggest one: how about a permanent fee waiver for homeowners who install permeable pavers in their driveways, sending little or no run-off into the sewers and replenishing groundwater? Best wishes.

    • LA Stormwater
      February 7th, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      Thanks for your comments, Martin. If you read all the way through to the end of the article, you’ll note that providing “incentives/credits to property owners who implement water quality improvement measures” is one of the revisions which is being explored by LA County Flood Control District. More information on the incentives/credits will be provided at the upcoming March 12 public hearing.

  6. Trisha
    February 7th, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    This is not about clean water at all. This is a scam by the environmental againcies to make more money . They have slid in other projects into this measure. Such as, restoration, ball field, educational ammenties, cultural ammenities and much much more. Do not be duped folks. Get informed on this because your property taxes especially if you own commercial property are going way up.

    • LA Stormwater
      February 11th, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      Thank you for your comments, Trisha. Revenue from the Clean Water Fee could ONLY be used for projects to clean up waterways — it cannot be taken by the State or any other jurisdiction or redirected for any other purpose. We encourage you to direct any questions or concerns you have regarding the Clean Water, Clean Beaches measure to the lead agency, the LA County Flood Control District, via e-mail at [email protected]

  7. Ben
    February 7th, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    The following is the rewrite that the environmental agencies have added to this measure.

    “Providing places for recreation, such as parks or ball fields.
    j. Creating, restoring, or improving wetlands, riparian, upland and coastal habitats.
    k. Providing other public benefits (such as urban blight removal, corollary air quality improvements, celebration of cultural and natural heritage, walkable streets and safe routes to school, outdoor education opportunities, heat island reduction, green house gas uptake, climate action, creation and enhancement of regional green infrastructure networks).”

    These are not clean water projects and should never be used with clean water money. This measure is a scam and our taxes will go way up especially if you own commercial property, which has no cap. People had better read up on this and say NO!!

    • LA Stormwater
      February 11th, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      We hear your concerns, Ben. Revenue from the Clean Water Fee could ONLY be used for projects to clean up waterways — it cannot be taken by the State or any other jurisdiction or redirected for any other purpose. We encourage you to direct any questions or concerns you have regarding the Clean Water, Clean Beaches measure to the lead agency, the LA County Flood Control District, via e-mail at [email protected].

  8. Rick
    February 23rd, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    Does this fee apply to large parcels (40 acres)? Does it apply to parcels that drain into Ventura county? As the measure stands right now it will tax us off of our property and require the property to be subdivided into smaller parcels that will be developed. This will cause an erosion of the habitat on our parcel which supports quail, deer, and bobcats. Very sad.

    • LA Stormwater
      February 25th, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      Thanks so much for your questions. We recommend that you contact the Los Angeles County Flood Control District directly with your questions. They are the lead agency for the Clean Water Clean Beaches Measure. They can be reached via e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at (800) 218-0018. They also have a web site at http://www.lacountycleanwater.org where you can find more information.

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