Particulate air standards of PM10 (dust) continue to be violated from sources at the recently exposed Mono Lake bed while Los Angeles continues to divert water from tributaries.
The Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District‘s letter emphasizes how:
- The historical water diversions by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) from Mono Lake have lowered the lake level and caused the persistent and continuing violations of law regarding the PM10 standards.
- The only feasible solution is to allow the lake level to rise to inundate the emissive areas of the lake bed.
- Water savings from Owens Lake dust mitigation efforts would completely offset exports from Mono Lake. Applying a portion of these acre feet of water would allow Mono Lake to reach the required surface elevation to end PM10 emission violations and public health impacts.
Historically water levels rose and fell under LADWP’s management at Mono Lake; however, court cases have established a baseline elevation to protect bird habitat and public health. This letter from the GBUAPCD identifies the violation, but also promotes the benefits of cooperation and outlines the history and expense of conflict over lake levels.
Mono Lake dewatering is north of Long Valley, but echoes LADWP’s expansion of water extraction throughout the Eastern Sierra while ignoring water savings, which could offset this need. The impacts of DWP’s decisions and violations continue to negatively impact the environment and public health.
Tributary Flows and Lake Levels
Water Savings at Owens Lake