Knabe Statement on Future of Clean Water, Clean Beaches Initiative

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, in a joint motion with Supervisor Gloria Molina, today put forth a motion to stop the Clean Water, Clean Beaches initiative in its current form and work with stakeholders to develop a new measure that addresses the concerns voiced by the public over the last several months. The Board also asked for quarterly progress reports and a target election date of June or November 2014. He issued the following statement on its approval:

“While I have long supported efforts to ensure clean water and beaches, I have been against this measure from the beginning as it was not fair and transparent in content or process,” said Supervisor Knabe. “We must start over. Unfortunately, our stormwater problem is exacerbated by the expensive, and often unrealistic, demands placed on us by the Regional Water Quality Control Board which increased the Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) from two pollutants in the old permit to 33 pollutants, which would cost this region tens of billions of dollars to comply with in the next 20 years alone.

A regional, integrated approach to this issue is absolutely critical to develop an economically feasible solution. However, the current measure did not outline a specific list of projects. Voters have a right to know where their money is going. Also, it was a fee with no end date. I believe more accountability is necessary for voters to support this program. That is why I asked that our Department of Public Works continue its outreach to cities, school districts, non-profits and the business community, our job creators, to address their concerns about rate reductions and double-taxation issues on those already making efforts to capture and clean their storm water under existing State and Federal mandates.

Finally, should this Board in the future decide to move forward with a new Clean Water, Clean Beaches measure, it should be put before the voters in a general election ballot and not through a mail-in ballot, as was originally proposed. I appreciate the public taking the time to attend our board meetings and voice their concerns through the many messages and phone calls to our offices. The approval of today’s motion shows that you were heard.”