Big News: EPA Designates L.A. River as Navigable!

July 7, 2010 § 24 Comments

Today, standing along the soft-bottom Compton Creek, the federal Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson proclaimed that the EPA is designating “the entire L.A. River as traditional navigable waters.”  In the video above, the announcement comes at about 1:55 and the crowd cheers! Jackson continues stating that this means “the entire 51-mile watershed is protected” and “that areas like Compton Creek will have the full protection of our nation’s clean water law.”

More below on other great news from the press conference, and more of Jackson’s remarks.

Creek Freak readers already know this from reading our five-part series on Nexus and Navigability. So do folks who spend time on the L.A. River. Or kayak it.  Or anyone who has watched Rock the Boat.  The L.A. River was, is, and will continue to be a navigable waterway.

This afternoon, the federal government confirmed that this is indeed the case. This is very important, because navigability is one of the conditions that assures that a river and its tributaries will be protected by the 1972 Clean Water Act. That law can be summarized as stating that all our nation’s waters will be swimable and fishable – which is to say, safe for humans and for wildlife. (More background on all this here.)

Today's press event on Compton Creek. Left to right - County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Environmental Protection Agency Adminstator Lisa Jackson, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and Compton Mayor Eric Perrodin

The welcome announcement took place today at a press conference headlined by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Lisa Jackson. Jackson was flanked by an impressive cast, including city of Compton mayor Eric Perrodin, L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, city of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Colonel Mark Toy, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority’s Joe Edmiston, and Heal the Bay’s Mark Gold.

The big Los Angeles River announcement overshadowed other good news of the county’s acquisition of 4 acres of soft-bottom Compton Creek for a future creekside park – and L.A. Creek Freak will report more details on that great news soon. We’ll close with more video of Jackson’s comments, and a link to EPA’s online press announcement.

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§ 24 Responses to Big News: EPA Designates L.A. River as Navigable!

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