Los Angeles Department of Public Works had been deemed liable for pollution in storm water runoff in a case stemming back to 2008. Previously the Courts had sided with the National Resources Defense Council, but now the Supreme Court has said otherwise.
The 9-0 decision handed down from the nation’s highest court gave a temporary reprieve to the County as it ruled that the 9th Circuit Court had decided the issue on a flawed question. Previous rulings had made the County responsible for the pollution that came from water flowing through the ‘concrete’ river into the San Gabriel River, even though multiple municipalities could have contributed to the total level of pollution.
In the opinion of the Supreme Court, polluted water flowing from one river – concrete or otherwise – could not be considered as adding pollution to another body of water.
The decision will not impact a proposed parcel fee that the County is seeking to help raise $290 million per year. That money will go toward cleaning up the storm water pollution.
Read the full story at the Los Angeles Times.