The Los Angeles City Council’s Energy, Climate Change, Environmental Justice and River Committee unanimously approved a proposal on Nov. 3 from Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, 13th District, to place solar panels atop the Los Angeles Aqueduct.
The committee also approved additional motions that will move Los Angeles closer to decarbonizing new construction, creating a citywide organic waste recycling system, improving water conservation and prohibiting the distribution and sale of expanded polystyrene, commonly known as Styrofoam.
“Smart, creative innovations are needed for Los Angeles to effectively and urgently fight the climate crisis, and I’m proud to have advanced several of these initiatives today,” said O’Farrell, chair of the Energy, Climate Change, Environmental Justice and River Committee.
From 2016-19, the Los Angeles Aqueduct provided 38% of the drinking water supply for the city of Los Angeles. First opened in 2013, it has a combined approximate length of over 370 miles and loses approximately 10-11% of water each year due to evaporation. O’Farrell’s proposal to place solar panels atop the aqueduct would help reduce evaporation and could ultimately provide renewable, carbon-free electrical capacity for hundreds of thousands of homes in Los Angeles. The current LADWP power resources profile includes natural gas and other fossil fuels, which will be phased out by 2035 due to LA100, a plan to create clean, renewable fossil fuel-free energy.
O’Farrell also highlighted the directive to decarbonize new buildings in Los Angeles, with the exception of certain types of facilities including accessory dwelling units, as well as commercial kitchens and cooking facilities. Earlier this year, O’Farrell introduced an initiative to electrify public facilities in the city, an effort that is already underway. In January, the city will begin decarbonization of the Los Angeles Zoo, including covering its parking lots with solar panels.
The committee also approved draft rules that will make it easier for residents to recycle food scraps, bringing organic waste recycling to nearly 1,000,000 households served by Los Angeles Sanitation and Environment. Additionally, the committee approved O’Farrell’s initiative to significantly expand the city’s water conservation, recycling and reuse efforts, including implementation of a gray water ordinance requiring systems for new developments more than 100,000 square feet, depending on water use. Gray water refers to all wastewater generated in households or office buildings from streams without fecal contamination. Though non-potable, it has value as a recycled water source, and could help Los Angeles significantly conserve its potable water resources, O’Farrell said. The committee also approved a draft ordinance that will prohibit the distribution and sale of Styrofoam products in Los Angeles.
For information, visit cd13.com.
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