Sunday, October 7, 2012

Venice Stakeholders Association Calls for Stronger Municipal Storm Water Runoff Permit Requirements

The Venice Stakeholders Association (VSA) has called for stricter requirements in the revised municipal storm water run-off permit now under consideration by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board.

VSA president Mark Ryavec testified before the Board, noting that, “It has been 22 years since the first discharge permit was established to eliminate contaminants from entering coastal waters yet in wet seasons the beaches are still awash in a toxic soup.”

Ryavec points out source of winter season "toxic soup"
“While progress has been made in the dry season, we still have beaches with “C” grades near Temescal Canyon in the Palisades and Mothers Beach in Marina del Rey, and failing grades in the winter months all along LA’s coast,” Ryavec said.  “We really need to do more to clean-up this precious resource.”

“I’m speaking to the “retail” aspect of the Board’s consideration of the permit’s conditions,” Ryavec said.  “Venice residents rely on clean, safe beach waters every day for swimming, wading and surfing, yet there are many periods in the winter months when it remains dangerous to one’s health to enter the water.”

“Venice Beach attracts 16 million visitors a year and many of those visitors pump millions of dollars into the many businesses and hotels in our community,” Ryavec said. “Yet these visitors, both foreign and domestic, come year-round and many tell us they worry about the safety of going into the surf.  In the wet season, their concerns are not easily dismissed.”

The VSA joined Heal the Bay, Los Angeles Waterkeeper and Natural Resources Defense Counsel in asking for stricter water quality standards, early setting of the maximum allowed levels of various chemicals and pollutants in storm water, containment of more storm water by new “Low Impact Development” standards for new construction, and more aggressive water quality monitoring.