Municipal stormwater permits regulate all urban runoff discharge from separate storm sewer systems, so-called MS4s. Because stormwater is the No. 1 source of coastal pollution in California, these permits are a big deal for ensuring public health for those who recreate in our local waters. This summer, ocean lovers have a major fight on their hands in Los Angeles County.
The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board is now considering a new municipal stormwater permit for the county, after years of delay. Board hearings over the summer will determine the fate of our local water quality for the next decade or more. We are at a fork in the road in terms of local water quality, with many cities and dischargers fighting hard to relax hard-won regulations that prevent them from dumping pollution into our waterways.
Our Regional Board can do the right thing and place strong protections (including pollution limits or TMDLs and low impact development requirements) in the permit. Or, they can make decisions that could result in dirtier water, and a higher risk of getting sick anytime you swim or surf. Heal the Bay will do everything we can to ensure that they make the right choice. We hope you will join us in the fight!
In order to spread the word on this important issue, we are kicking off an outreach campaign we call “Take L.A. by Storm.” We are going to have some great events this summer leading up to the hearing in October where the permit will be approved. We need the public there to take a stand to protect our bay and neighborhoods.
If you care about protecting the ocean and public health, we need you to make your voice heard. We need beachgoers of all stripes to sign our petition on Change.org telling the Board you want to be able safely swim at our beaches or fish in our rivers. Please help protect what you love.