New Pollution Limits Bode Well for Bay

L.A. Harbor, TMDLs, San Pedro, Long Beach

We have a major victory to report in our ongoing fight to clean up San Pedro Bay and the Greater Harbor area, which is still riddled with toxic pollution such as PCB and DDT contamination.

Today the State Water Resources Control Board unanimously voted to approve the Dominguez Channel and Greater Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors Toxics Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). These pollution limits put dischargers on a track for cleaning up the Harbor area of this legacy contamination, and as a result, should reduce fish contamination levels. Although this was one of the most complex TMDLs that has ever been adopted, it is also one of the most important. 

As we have learned from Heal the Bay’s Angler Outreach Program, which has educated over 100,000 anglers, there are many subsistence fisherman in the Harbor area that are currently risking their health and the health of their families by eating contaminated fish. This TMDL has the goal of meeting fish tissue targets to ensure public health is protected. 

Heal the Bay has been working with stakeholders on the development of this TMDL for over five years. Despite strong opposition from several stakeholders, the environment prevailed. The implementation of these pollution limits will be a big step in meeting our goal of fishable and swimmable coastal waters.