Beckman, David

David Beckman is the lead counsel and director of NRDC's national Water program.

Court Reverses Decision That Would Have Jeopardized California Water Quality

By David Beckman
Natural Resource Defense Council

When it rains in Los Angeles, billions of gallons of water pour into the city’s storm drains and, carrying bacteria, pathogens, animal waste, metals, oils, and other pollutants, flow untreated into the Pacific Ocean and onto our beaches. A recent NRDC report found that in 2009, stormwater runoff was the primary known source of pollution at beaches nationwide, consistent with past years.  

On Tuesday the California Court of Appeal reversed a trial court decision that threatened clean water standards protecting Southern California waters, including its world-famous beaches, and millions of people who use them every year. The unanimous 3-0 ruling restores the water board’s authority to implement health-protective measures reducing California’s worst source of water pollution, stormwater runoff, in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.