Los Angeles, Owens Valley reach agreement

Linda Saholt

News Review Correspondent

According to a recent story in the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Owens Valley have reached a settlement in their long-standing dispute over new measures to control dust storms that have blown across the eastern Sierra Nevada since the opening of the L.A. Aqueduct nearly a century ago.

Under terms of the agreement, DWP will fast-track mitigation measures that do not use water, and will lay down a thinner layer of gravel to suppress dust.

The DWP has already spent $1.2 billion on dust mitigation measures that began 16 years ago on orders from the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District.

Complicating measures is the recent discovery of the site of a massacre of 35 Paiute Indians, shot to death by U.S. Cavalry soldiers and local ranchers in 1863. Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Reservation tribal leaders want the 328-acre site left undisturbed.

The site will be excluded from mitigation efforts in order to avoid disturbing historic remains.

The settlement comes after years of negotiations between the two agencies. The dry Owens Lake bed is now the largest single source of particulate matter air pollution in the country.

Story First Published: 2013-07-24