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TMDL Issues Review

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TMDL Issues Review

  1. 1. Los Angeles River Bacteria TMDL City Concerns Ronald Bates City of South Gate CCCA City Manager’s Meeting June 24, 2010 1
  2. 2. LA River Bacteria TMDL  25-year mandate impacting 40 watershed cities, LA County and Caltrans  Establishes both wet and dry-weather “numeric limits” for bacteria in the LA River  Water quality standard based on REC-1 (swimming requirement) in the River  Swimming standard established in 1975, with no consideration of costs or practicality of the use 2
  3. 3. Big picture: Los Angeles River Bacteria TMDL  TMDL implementation for just dry weather will be very expensive and will likely compromise other city services. ($1.1 billion estimate for drain diversions)  $5.4 billion estimate by the Regional Board for both wet and dry-weather compliance  It will be difficult, if not impossible, to meet current bacteria standards because of in channel sources  No known methods for compliance with wet weather TMDL 3
  4. 4. Is the REC-1 Use Appropriate?  Dry weather flows in some reaches are very shallow  Channels are extensively modified for flood control purposes, and access is restricted or prohibited in many reaches  There is far less contact recreation in river than at the beaches – we may want the ability to direct resources to Breakwater Reconnaissance Study or other beach protection measures (BMP)  In wet weather, recreation is dangerous 4
  5. 5. Concerns with objectives  Bacteria are prolific and re-grow in the environment  Non-human sources are significant (Storm drain and tributary inputs are only a fraction of the bacteria loading, so controlling city storm drains won’t attain water quality standards  During dry weather, rivers are less important as a source of bacteria at beaches 5
  6. 6. Some sources are natural and/or difficult to control  Wildlife activity and waste (migratory and shore birds) Birds in Rio Hondo  Bacteria re-growth in sediment Birds in Los Angeles River  Resuspension from disturbed sediment  Homeless encampments 6
  7. 7. Only 10-50% of bacteria enter from storm drains and tributaries  Dry weather monitoring, 6 events, LA River Reach 2  Controlling inputs will likely not result in attaining standards in the river  Unclear how compliance can be achieved 7
  8. 8. Dry Weather Costs LAR Bacteria >$1,000,000,000 Santa Monica Beaches = $46,000,000 8
  9. 9. Wet Weather Costs LAR Bacteria = $5,400,000,000 Santa Monica Beaches = $400,000,000 9 Source: www.you-are-here.com/location/la_river.html
  10. 10. Economic and Budget Impacts  Study by the GCCOG showed high unemployment in the watershed will continue for several years – hampering city revenues  In a survey of the watershed cities – 90% have budget deficits, 86% of reduced city services, 50% of implemented hiring freezes and 25% have laid off employees  The survey revealed that the TMDL will add 8% annually to the average city budget  New fees will be difficult to get voter approval 10
  11. 11. Regional funding approach for bacteria TMDL Estimated costs for dry weather only Annual costs Aggregate City Years 4-12 Years 13-23 Years 24-32 costs Alhambra $250,566 $663,264 $884,352 $17,510,166 Commerce $227,626 $602,540 $803,387 $15,907,057 Los Angeles $6,207,963 $16,652,386 $22,203,152 $438,876,281 LA County $1,861,010 $4,926,208 $6,568,276 $130,051,862 Monrovia $311,005 $823,249 $1,097,655 $21,733,679 South Gate $247,919 $656,257 $875,010 $17,325,188 Cost estimates are based on funding formula developed for metals TMDL 11
  12. 12. Regional funding approach for bacteria TMDL Estimated costs for dry and wet weather Cost estimates are based on funding formula developed for metals TMDL 12
  13. 13. Unemployment for select cities  City Aug. 2008 Jan. 2010 %Increase  Commerce 14.8% 24.2% +9.4%  Compton 14.1% 22.0% +7.9%  Bell Gardens 13.2% 20.6% +7.4%  Lynwood 13.1% 20.5% +7.4%  Huntington Park 12.3% 19.4% +7.1%  Paramount 12.1% 19.0% +6.9%  Maywood 12.0% 18.9% +6.9%  South Gate 10.5% 16.7% +6.1%  Montebello 9.1% 14.7% +5.6%  Long Beach 9.0% 14.5% +5.5%  LA County 8.2% 13.2% +5.5%  State 7.7% 13.2% +6.5%  U.S. 6.1% 9.7% +3.6%  Source: Economic Development Department 13
  14. 14. What’s the Alternative?  Cities in Lower Los Angeles River have submitted the Water Conservation Plan for dry-weather compliance  This plan would cover major portions of the River south of the City of Los Angeles (Reaches 1 & 2 and their tributaries)  BMP based plan – not “numeric limits”  A wet-weather task force would be formed to further study wet weather issues 14
  15. 15. What Can the Watershed Cities Do?  Get up to speed! Review the 24 comment letters from cities, LA County and Caltrans  Prepare a written statement to submit to the Regional Board’s public hearing on July 9, 2010  Concentrate on the hardships your community is facing and the impacts of the TMDL  Send an elected official to testify! 15
  16. 16. July 9th Regional Board Hearing Meeting Location City of Glendale, City Council Chambers – 613 E. Broadway Blvd. Time 9:00 a.m. 16
  17. 17. For Help and Information Contact: Ken Farfsing, City Manager, City of Signal Hill  kfarfsing@cityofsignalhill.org Ronald Bates, City Manager, City of South Gate  rbates@sogate.org 17

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