Today, in the first public hearing meeting of the year, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion by Chair Holly J. Mitchell and co-authored by Supervisor Janice Hahn, to identify the cause of the eight and half million gallons of untreated sewage into County waterways that occurred the end of December, and the necessary steps to prevent sewage spills and protect surrounding communities.
This sewage spill is considered the largest in the history of Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, a public entity that the Board of Supervisors does not directly oversee. Sanitation Districts is responsible for maintaining facilities that collect and treat domestic and industrial wastewater. The spill occurred after a concrete pipe collapsed in the City of Carson despite the sewer line being inspected a few weeks earlier. The cause for the collapse is still unknown and resulted in untreated sewage entering the Dominguez Channel and subsequently County waterways.
“The communities surrounding the Dominguez Channel have been through enough. We demand accountability and greater transparency on why the sewage spill happened and what the Sanitation Districts will do to prevent an incident like this from happening again” shared Chair Holly J. Mitchell. “This motion provides the Sanitation Districts with additional support from County Departments to aid in the investigation so we can take the necessary measures to ensure this does not happen again.”
“A sewage spill of this magnitude is dangerous and unacceptable, and we need to understand what happened. The storm in the days before the incident undoubtedly contributed to the spill, but we need infrastructure that doesn’t fail when it rains” shared Supervisor Janice Hahn. We need a full investigation into the cause of this spill and whether aging or faulty infrastructure was involved.”
The motion instructs the Directors of Department of Public Works, Department of Public Health and Office of Emergency Management to support the Sanitation Districts in their investigation into the exact cause for the sewer infrastructure failure and the status of the health and environmental impacts of the discharge on surrounding communities. It also calls for on-going transparency and accountability with weekly written reports from Public Works to the Board of Supervisors on the status of oxygen levels and recovery efforts within the Dominguez Channel.
To read the full motion click here.
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