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April 13, 2016, Keeler, California

Historic Plan for Clean Air Approved by Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District

Today, the Governing Board of the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District (District) approved an innovative State Implementation Plan to control particulate air pollution and bring the Owens Valley into compliance with air quality standards for the first time.  The plan includes the terms of a stipulated court judgment by the Superior Court in Sacramento County requiring the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to complete the nation’s largest particulate air pollution control project on the dried Owens Lake bed.  The District also adopted a new rule and order to LADWP to implement the plan.  The plan will next be submitted to the California Air Resources Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for approval and adoption under the federal Clean Air Act.

For 102 years, LADWP’s water diversions into the Los Angeles Aqueduct created the dried Owens Lake bed, the largest source of dust pollution in the country, resulting in severe adverse health impacts to our local communities.  The plan requires LADWP to complete an additional 3.6 square miles of dust controls on the lake bed, bringing the total to 48.6 square miles, and allows the District to require an additional 4.8 square miles of controls if needed to attain the air quality standards.  The plan also allows LADWP to use new water saving measures to control the pollution, including tilling the lake bed with the back-up of shallow flooding as needed, dynamic water management to more closely align the controls with the emission seasons and utilization of brine in dust control areas.  Immediate water savings will be enough water to supply hundreds of thousands of people.

According to Phill Kiddoo, Air Pollution Control Officer, “This plan will allow the citizens of the Owens Valley to breathe some of the cleanest air in the country and save water.  More than 75,000 tons of dust per year have been controlled with dust mitigation implementation at Owens Lake, making this the largest air pollution project in the history of the United States.  We also look forward to a new day of cooperation with LADWP to protect the health of our communities and the environment.”  The full plan is available on the District web site at http://www.gbuapcd.org/ovpm10sip.htm.

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Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District

GBUAPCD is a California regional government agency that works to protect the people and the environment of Alpine, Mono and Inyo Counties from the harmful effects of air pollution.

Inyo, Mono and Alpine Counties joined together in 1974 in a joint powers agreement to form the Great Basin Unified APCD, which covers the Great Basin valleys - Air Basin in California.

GBUAPCD's purpose is to enforce Federal, State and local air quality regulations and to ensure that the federal and state air quality standards are met in our district. These standards are set to protect the health of sensitive individuals by restricting how much pollution is allowed in the air.

To meet these standards we enforce those federal laws delegated to us, state laws on stationary sources of pollution, and pass and enforce our own regulations as they become necessary.

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