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Celebrating 40 Years of the Clean Water Act

Industry News

Celebrating 40 Years of the Clean Water Act

October 18, 1972 marked the passing of the Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments by the United States Congress. Better known as the Clean Water Act, the impact of this landmark legislation in Southern California cannot be understated. The new law gave concerned citizens a powerful tool in the fight to bring back clean oceans, beaches and rivers and awakened a huge portion of Southern California to the notion that we have to be good stewards to our environment.

On October 9 from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, we will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act while we look back on the conditions that led to the passage of the  Act, take stock of what we have achieved in Los Angeles, and present a vision for the future of clean water in Southern California. With an accomplished cadre of speakers, the morning is sure to challenge assumptions of where we were, where we are and where we need to be.

Speakers (bios follow) on the day include:

  • Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (invited)
  • Alfredo Gonzalez, Council for Watershed Health and The Nature Conservancy
  • Dr. Mark Gold, UCLA, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
  • Enrique Zaldivar, City of Los Angeles, Bureau of Sanitation
  • Mark Pestrella Los Angeles County, Department of Public Works
  • Fran Diamond, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board
  • Shelley Luce, Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission
  • Felicia Marcus, State Water Resources Control Board
  • David Beckman, Pisces Foundation (invited)
  • Adel Hagekhalil, City of Los Angeles, Bureau of Sanitation
  • Liz Crosson, Los Angeles Waterkeeper

The event is meant not only to highlight past successes, but to look at the steps it will take to get to a truly sustainable Southern California. While much has improved in the Los Angeles Region, there is still much that can – and should – be done. Funds raised from the event will support scholarships for students wishing to pursue careers in water.

LA’s Clean Water Story: Celebrating 40 Years of the Clean Water Act is presented by the Council for Watershed Health, Los Angeles Waterkeeper and the Los Angeles Basin Section of the California Water Environment Association. For more information and to register, please visit

Thank you to sponsors Black & Veatch, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Parsons, RMC Water and Environment, Tetra Tech, Haaker Equipment, Calgon Carbon USA, and Carollo Engineers for their support.

About the Council for Watershed Health: The Council for Watershed Health supports healthy watersheds for the region by serving as a robust center for the generation of objective research and analysis.  The Council has established a platform for meaningful collaboration among governmental organizations, academic institutions, businesses and other nonprofit organizations with a vested interest in clean water, reliable water supplies, ample parks and open spaces, revitalized rivers, and vibrant communities. .

Founded in 1996 by leading environmental activist Dorothy Green and others, the Council performs research and educates experts and the public about water, watersheds, and sustainability. The Council’s impartial, trustworthy expertise and analysis connects a diverse set of groups with overlapping missions in an effort to drive polices that will continually improve watershed quality. Learn more at

Southern California’s trusted hub for essential watershed research and analysis.

About LA Waterkeeper: Founded in 1993, LA Waterkeeper’s mission is to protect and restore Santa Monica Bay, San Pedro Bay, and adjacent waters through enforcement, fieldwork, and community action. We work to achieve this goal through litigation and regulatory programs that ensure water quality protections in waterways throughout L.A. County. LA Waterkeeper’s Litigation & Advocacy, Marine, and Water Quality teams conduct interconnected projects that serve this mission.

About the City of Los Angeles, Bureau of Sanitation As the lead agency for the City’s environmental programs and initiatives, the Bureau of Sanitation protects public health and the environment through the administration and management of three program areas: Clean Water (Wastewater), Solid Resources (Solid Waste Management) and Watershed Protection (Stormwater). These infrastructure programs collect, treat, dispose and recycle the solid and liquid waste generated by the nation’s second largest city of more than four million residents. Through these essential programs, Sanitation delivers a triple bottom line of economic, environmental and social benefits that sustain the quality of life in Los Angeles.  

About the California Water Environment Association: Founded in 1927, CWEA is a not-for-profit association of nearly 10,000 wastewater professionals dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. We’re committed to keeping California’s water clean. We train and certify wastewater professionals, disseminate technical information, and promote sound policies to benefit society through protection and enhancement of our water environment.  CWEA is a proud state member association of the Water Environment Federation, which provides technical education and training for thousands of water quality professionals who clean water and return it safely to the environment. Learn more at or

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