Rep. Judy Chu (D-27) introduced legislation Tuesday along with Representatives Grace Napolitano (D-32) and Linda Sanchez (D-38) that would ensure federal funding for the cleanup of the San Gabriel Water Basin. If passed in Congress, the bill will allow the San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority to continue having access to the San Gabriel Basin Restoration Funds for an additional five years on top of the 10 years under current law.
“There is no reason for the San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority to lose access to this fund simply because they didn’t spend money fast enough,” Chu said. “This bill does not spend a single dime – it ensures that the funds that were already allocated to this cause continue to be available in the years to come. We cannot allow the health and safety of our residents and the integrity of our drinking water to be sacrificed to meet an arbitrary deadline.”
In 1979, it was discovered that the basin has been contaminated with rocket fuel and other chemicals due to decades of aerospace production during World War II. Since the creation of the Water Quality Authority in 1993 — a state organization responsible for planning and implenting water cleanup in the San Gabriel Basin — only 50 percent of the contaminants have been cleaned.