$10 Million L.A. River Regional Stormwater Clean-Up Project Complete

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An innovative regional environmental project to prevent hundreds of tons of trash from reaching the Long Beach coastline has been completed.

The collaborative project, funded by $10 million in Federal Stimulus funds, involved the City of Long Beach and 15 upriver cities working together as the Los Angeles Gateway Authority. The LA Gateway Region’s first State Water Board-certified storm drain retrofit effort will prevent approximately 840,000 pounds of trash each year from entering the Los Angeles River.

“Regional problems require regional solutions,” said Mayor Bob Foster. “By working together with the other Gateway cities, we leveraged resources and took a huge collective step forward to clean up our coastline on behalf of the entire region.”

Approximately 12,000 publicly-held storm drains lead to the L.A. River from the 16 Gateway Cities. Last year, the 16 cities came together and agreed to retrofit all of these storm drains with full-capture trash devices, called Connector Pipe Screens (CPS), inside the catch basin. In addition, more than 5,400 of these storm drains in higher-density trash locations have received additional protection with the installation of Automatic Retractable Screens (ARS), at the curbside entrance to the catch basin. Both screens block trash and debris, while allowing stormwater to continue flowing to the L.A. River and eventually the Long Beach coastline.

“The Gateway Authority and the State Water Board are committed to maximizing this environmental stewardship project for the benefit of all communities in the Gateway Region,” said Chris Cash, Gateway Authority Chair and Director of Public Works for the City of Paramount. “Clean water benefits everyone and everything.”

Construction began in August 2010, and was completed this week. Cities that received trash screens are (roughly north to south): Montebello, Pico Rivera, Vernon, Maywood, Commerce, Huntington Park, Bell, Cudahy, Bell Gardens, South Gate, Downey, Lynwood, Paramount, Compton, Signal Hill, and Long Beach.

A total of $10 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds was designated by the California State Water Resources Control Board, through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, to finance the LA Gateway Authority project.

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