In a case that determines the Los Angeles County Flood Control District’s role in managing stormwater and runoff pollution in the county, the United States Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in favor of the county district, according to a release from the Department of Public Works. The lawsuit was filed by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Santa Monica Baykeeper, now the Los Angeles Waterkeeper, against the FCD. Tuesday’s ruling reversed an earlier ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The case was heard by the Supreme Court last month. At issue is whether it is the responsibility of Los Angeles County or individual cities to clean stormwater before it flows into the ocean.
The NRDC and Waterkeeper said the FCD should be responsible for cleaning and treating polluted water. The FCD said the responsibility belongs to the 85 cities and 140 unincorporated communities of the county that generate the water.
The case started in 2008 when the NRDC and Waterkeeper filed a suit alleging the county was responsible for the urban runoff that picks up bacteria as it flows through the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers to the Pacific Ocean.