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Cleaner Sewers, Water for L.A.The City of Los Angeles has agreed to clean up its sewer system and eliminate foul odors that violated the Clean Water Act and plagued communities in Baldwin Hills and South Central Los Angeles.

The agreement calls for the City to replace 488 miles of sewer lines, clean 2,800 miles of sewers every year and increase the system’s capacity. The City also will improve a program to control dumping of pollutants like restaurant grease that eventually ends up in the ocean. The agreement mandates that the City spend $8.5 million on projects like restoration of wetlands and creeks.

The City had already admitted responsibility for almost 4,000 spills and could have faced fines totaling up to $100 million. Most of the sewage spills were caused by broken pipes in low-income communities. The spills overflowed into storm drains that led to bacterial contamination of the ocean. Mayor Hahn described the agreement as a “win-win” for everybody. The Mayor also thanked all the groups “who really held the city’s feet to the fire.”

The City Project joined the suit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, the California Attorney General’s office, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California Water Quality Control Board, English, Munger & Rice and Santa Monica Baykeeper.

The City Project represented Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles, the Baldwin Hills Estates Homeowners Association, and other community and homeowner groups.