Caltrans Settles Lawsuit, Agrees to Reduce Toxic Runoff

The state agreed to settle an environmental lawsuit by reducing runoff along 1,000 miles of roadway in order to reduce ocean pollution.

The state Department of Transportation agreed to reduce runoff from freeways in Los Angeles and Ventura counties under a deal that ends a 14-year-old lawsuit. A judge approved the settlement on Friday.

Two environmental groups sued Caltrans, arguing that it was violating federal clean water laws by allowing storm runoff laden with oil, lead, pesticide and other toxic compounds to flow off roadways into creeks and eventually the ocean.

The agreement calls on Caltrans to make changes in the next three years that will reduce the runoff by 20 percent from 1994 levels. The agency will use sand traps, catch basins and other measures to trap the pollution.

There's no word on what the changes will cost.
Information from: Los Angeles Times,

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-01-19-08 1340EST

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