Cities along the Los Angeles River face increasing responsibility for preventing bacteria from entering the waterway after regional water regulators passed new standards at a meeting in Glendale on Friday.
The rules will apply to all cities whose storm drains empty into the river or its tributaries. The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board passed the standards over the loud objections of the cities. They're claiming that the added responsibility of eliminating bacteria from water entering the river will cost millions if not billions of dollars.
The water board gave cities 25 years to achieve standards. Heal the Bay's Mark Gold says that's too long. But federal regulators - who earlier this week adopted the position that the LA River deserves fuller protection - said they'd impose limits on bacteria immediately if state officials took no action.
The regional board's approval sends the plan to the state board in Sacramento. Then federal Environmental Protection Officials sign off on it to make the bacteria standards final.