Federal judge axes Los Angeles lawsuit over Owens Lake dust

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A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the city of Los Angeles in a decades-old dispute over controlling dust from a lakebed that was siphoned dry to quench the metropolis's growing thirst.

U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii in Fresno tossed the lawsuit in a fight that has been going on for a century, ever since L.A. began to drain Owens Lake 200 miles to its north.

The city already controls blowing dust on 45 square miles of lakebed.

It sued after the air regulators who monitor the lake said in 2011 that it needed to control dust on three more square miles. A state lawsuit is still pending.

The head of the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District called the dismissal a victory for every Californian who cares about clean air. As for the DWP, a spokesman calls the dismissal largely procedural and says it doesn't get to the core issue of mitigation in the Owens Valley

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