Environment & Science

State says LA County allowed pollution into Marina Del Rey

The Los Angeles County Flood Control District faces state fines of $274,896 for allegedly allowing bacterial pollution to flow into the harbor at Marina del Rey for more than two years, it was reported today.

Staff of the Los Angeles region of the California Regional Water Quality Control Board issued a complaint against the Flood Control District on Feb. 18, recommending the fines, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The water board, part of the California Environmental Protection Agency, cited 186 violations of the district's storm water permit from 2007 to 2009, The Times reported. The storm water permit was issued in accordance with federal and state clean-water standards.

The state water board is scheduled to vote on the complaint May 17, when the panel can modify the fine, reject it or let it stand.

The regulatory action and fine are precedent-setting, Samuel Unger, the water board's assistant executive officer and principal engineer, told The Times. Previous storm drainage complaints typically dealt with industrial or construction discharges, Unger said.

The Flood Control District is part of the L.A. County Department of Public Works and is legally obligated to maintain its storm sewer system so that it does not discharge bacterial and other pollutants into rivers, streams, the ocean and harbors, according to the state.

Kerjon Lee, a flood-control district spokesman, told The Times Monday that his agency would be issuing a statement on the state's accusation.