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EPA Proposes New Pollution Reduction Plans for Malibu Creek and the Ventura River

Release Date: 12/17/2012
Contact Information: Nahal Mogharabi,

LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week announced two proposed pollution reduction plans for the Malibu Creek and Lagoon and the Ventura River. The Los Angeles region is home to a vast network of streams, lakes, rivers, and beaches used for fishing and recreation. The pollution targets set by these plans will improve water quality, and the critical aquatic habitat in these water bodies.

Under the federal Clean Water Act, states are required to develop pollution reduction plans for waters that are impaired by pollutants. These plans are called Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), and must be approved by the EPA.

The draft pollution reduction plan for the Malibu Creek and Lagoon will address sedimentation and benthic community impairments. Benthic communities are aquatic organisms like clams and shellfish that live at the bottom of these water bodies. Protecting these communities is critical for the estuarine and stream ecosystem as it provides the necessary food for birds and other animal life in Malibu Creek and Lagoon. In the Ventura River, EPA found that pumping water contributed to excessive nutrients and low oxygen levels. Healthy water quality in the Ventura River is important to protect and support the steelhead trout still found in the watershed.

Today’s announcement is a part of a 1999 legal settlement between EPA and local environmental groups in which EPA committed to approve LA Water Board-developed TMDLs or independently establish TMDLs for a list of water bodies in the Los Angeles Region. So far, more than 47 TMDLs have been established for 175 water bodies that address numerous pollutant impairments including elevated bacteria, metals, pesticides, PCBs and trash. Today’s TMDLs are the last needed to be developed by EPA in accordance with the terms of the settlement.

This week’s TMDLs will be open for a 40-day public comment period that will end on January 22 and 23, 2013. USEPA will be holding a workshop on Jan 14, 2012 for both Draft TMDLs.

For more information on all of the TMDLs as well as how to submit a public comment, please visit: