As most Angelenos probably know, storm water runoff is a major source of pollution along our coast. Many beaches must close for days or weeks after a storm because the water is so full of nasty, oily toxins. The idea that the city is working to reduce stormwater runoff through building codes sounds great to me.
I did a little more digging, and came across the website for the Low Impact Development plan. Apparently, this initiative has been around since last summer, but I was completely unaware. Here's a somewhat-recent LA Times article about the proposed ordinance, which, if it's passed by the City Council and the mayor, could go into effect sometime in the next few months. I plan to do a bit more research, and if it still sounds like a good idea, I'll send a letter to my city council member supporting the LID ordinance. If you live in Los Angeles, maybe you'll consider doing the same.
Of course, there are immediate ways we can all reduce storm water pollution, including picking up our dog's poop, not dropping trash (especially evil cigarette butts) in the street and planning our own landscaping so that it traps rainwater rather than letting it run out to the curb. Eric over at Ramshackle Solid has been digging trenches to move the water around his yard. I hope to someday to redirect our runoff as expertly as he has. In the meantime, we're doing our best to grow native plants, build berms around fruit trees and send rainwater down a little trench on the side of our stairs that ends at an orange tree.
Next up, we plan to get a rain barrel. Apparently the city had a pilot rain barrel program last summer, which, unsurprisingly, was extremely popular. No word on whether they're going to expand it. If not, I guess we'll have to make our own.