Clear Waters Ahead; Los Angeles River Protected Under Clean Water Act

On Wednesday the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pronounced the entire concrete-lined Los Angeles River channel as a “traditional navigable waterway” that falls under the protection of the Clean Water Act. This overturns a previous decision by the Army Corps of Engineers to grant protection to only 4 miles of the 51 mile long river.

Under the Clean Water Act, developers will now have to apply for a permit from the Army Corps for new projects along the Los Angeles River. EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson stated that this new decision could foster stronger communities as well as attract businesses and new jobs to the area. This ruling sets precedence for all urban waterways seeking protection under the Clean Water Act.

Coupled with this recent decision, Los Angeles County announced a 4-acre purchase of the highly polluted Compton Creek, a tributary of the Los Angeles River. This will help restore the creek through various clean-up efforts as well as increased pedestrian and bike access.