By Matthew Mullins and Jill Stewart
|Environmentalists say L.A. rain runoff is a sickening soup.|
Update: The Board of Supervisors rejected the Clean Water, Clean Beaches plan today in a big upset, thanks to what many say was exceedingly poor outreach on the massive tax plan to pay for it. See next page for details.
Hundreds of angry people today demanded that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors toss a years-in-the-making Clean Water Clean Beaches plan to treat the horrific soup that flows off streets, sidewalks, roofs, lawns and lots -- directly into rivers, the Pacific and beaches -- whenever it rains. But who should pay $270 million to treat the filthy rain runoff?
L.A. County's Department of Public Works for months kept its plan -- to tax the county's landowners only -- all but secret. When County Supervisor Gloria Molina got a tiny notice about it, she mistakenly tossed it as junk mail. Apathetic L.A. voters? Not even! Now, 113,696 people have said No to Public Works on its website. And get this: Public Works management spent $3 million creating this PR mess. Colleges, non-profits, many others are slamming the scheme to charge landowners only -- in a region where half the sidewalk-spitters, dog-poop foulers and crankcase drippers are renters, Orange and Ventura Co. commuters and tourists:More »