The SCCA’s Board of Directors and the Executive Committee have given me a warm welcome and direction as we move forward in 2019. I look forward to tackling many agenda items set by the Board of Directors and the Executive Board. Among the first things I’ll be working on – in conjunction with the recently passed Measure W – are recommendations from the SCCA to staff the various water districts that will be established in the Los Angeles County. This new Board will oversee the newly adopted Measure W, designed to fix Los Angeles County’s stormwater control systems under the terms of the Safe Clean Water Program, which passed with 69.5 percent of the November vote.
“Voters have embraced an historic opportunity to modernize x to meet the needs of the 21st century,” Mark Pestrella, director of the LA County Department of Public Works and chief engineer for the Flood Control District told reporters after the election.
Every year, we lose billions of gallons of water, the rain that falls on the county and runs into the Pacific. Capturing and treating this water will make the region more sustainable for decades to come.
The tax (a parcel tax of 2.5 cents per square foot of impermeable space – parking lots, driveways, buildings etc.) is set to raise at least $300 million each year to capture, treat and reuse stormwater runoff and help to modernize LA’s 100-year-old water system infrastructure.
Revenue generated from Measure W will help cities across LA County comply with state water quality laws and meet their obligations under the Federal Clean Water Act. The funds will be used to pay for regional and municipal projects that improve water quality and also increase water supply providing community benefits, allowing for growth here. It will help the county meet court-ordered standards for clean water in our region.
An independent review board will oversee the program. The plan also requires independent audits, at all levels from the district to individual projects, to make sure it’s working and the money isn’t being wasted. Results will be posted online, so anyone can check the program’s progress.
Much of that money should go into projects that SCCA contractors would work on, so we intend to help the county board of supervisors make good selections for board members, because we know that the environmental community will be pushing their agenda with their picks for these seats.
By Wes May, Executive Vice President