EPA declares L.A. River ‘traditional navigable waters’

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U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson on Wednesday declared the entire concrete-lined Los Angeles River channel “traditional navigable waters,” a designation crucial to applying Clean Water Act protections throughout its 834-square-mile urban watershed.

“We’re moving away from the concrete,” Jackson told more than 200 residents and government officials on the banks of one of the river’s heavily polluted tributaries, Compton Creek.

“This is a watershed as important as any other,” she said. “So we are going to build a federal partnership to empower communities like yours .… We want the L.A. River to demonstrate how urban waterways across the country can serve as assets in building stronger neighborhoods, attracting new businesses and creating new jobs.”

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