Water pollution traced to La Brea Tar Pits

Palm trees are reflected on the oil-slicked surface at the La Brea Tar Pits. Now that polluted water in Ballona Creek has been traced to the popular tourist attraction, the county will spend $2 million on a remedy. (Ricardo DeAratanha, Los Angeles Times)

“For years, residents living near Ballona Creek and environmentalists have complained of mysterious sheens of oil and grease in the western Los Angeles County waterway, often blaming industrial dumping, urban runoff or other man-made causes for the pollution. One cause that apparently never crossed their minds: the La Brea Tar Pits. It turns out the tourist attraction and preferred field trip destination of seemingly every grade schooler in the region has sent oily wastewater spilling into the highly polluted creek. The tar pits, in Wilshire Boulevard’s Miracle Mile neighborhood, overflow during heavy rains, overwhelming the devices that separate oil from water. Polluted runoff then gets into the storm drain system, spilling into the creek and emptying into the ocean, according to county planners. It’s unclear how big a polluter the naturally occurring tar pits have been. Still, the release of pollutants has cost the county money.”

Read More: Los Angeles Times Blog

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