"The Supreme Court may use an L.A. case to decide for the first time who can be held responsible for storm water runoff pollution."
"The Supreme Court will hear a case from Los Angeles on Tuesday to decide for the first time who can be held responsible for polluted storm water that runs off city streets and into rivers and bays.
The case arises from a long-running dispute between Southern California environmental groups and the Los Angeles County Flood Control District over the billions of gallons of polluted water that flow into the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers after heavy rainfalls.
Congress expanded the Clean Water Act in 1987 to include storm water runoff, and since 1990 the sprawling Los Angeles district has operated under a permit.
The Natural Resources Defense Council and the environmental group Los Angeles Waterkeeper sued the flood control district in 2008, contending it was violating its permit. The district's monitoring stations in the two rivers regularly showed unacceptably high levels of pollutants flowing in the rivers and into the ocean, the suit said."