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Los Angeles Collection System Agreement: A Win-Win Partnership & Success Story

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During February 1998, the wettest February in Los Angeles' history, sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) occurred in a number of communities with the majority occurring in the Eagle Rock and South Los Angeles areas. In response to these SSOs, the Santa Monica Baykeeper (BayKeeper) filed a Federal lawsuit against the City asking for injunctive relief due to the SSOs. In January 2001, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (LARWQCB) and a number of community groups representing residents in South Los Angeles joined the BayKeeper in its lawsuit against the City. The plaintiffs argued that the City's SSOs and odor problems violated the Clean Water Act and the terms and conditions of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits for the Hyperion and the Terminal Island Treatment Plants for the operation and maintenance of the City's sewer system.

This paper will discuss the process in which the parties were able to work collaboratively together and reach a win-win agreement that is manageable by the City and meets the objectives of reducing SSOs and protecting the environment. A great trust and partnership evolved out of this process.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-10-01

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