Urban runoff lured Julia Louise-Dreyfus early Wednesday to the Hard Rock Cafe in West Hollywood, where the “Seinfeld” co-star hosted a continental breakfast on behalf of a controversial plan to manage the debris draining into the Pacific Ocean.
Appearing in support were Ed Begley Jr., Donna Mills and Theresa Randall. Warren Littlefield of NBC Entertainment, Hard Rock owner Peter Morton, Castle Rock’s Alan Horn and Norma Lear came, too. So did members of Heal the Bay, Environmental Media Assn., the local chapter of the Natural Resources Defense Council and representatives of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, Jon Douglas Realty and Rhino Records.
The so-called “40 Day Fight” is the brainchild of a consortium of conservationists, business leaders, politicians and entertainment industry representatives. They support proposed state regulations limiting runoff pollution--regulations that are opposed by many cities, which say the proposed guidelines are too stringent, too expensive and not scientific enough.
The state cleanup plan that would force all cities in Los Angeles County not only to adopt regulations on runoff pollution but also to enforce them. It would require cities to inspect thousands of businesses, identify and eliminate illicit storm drain hookups, outlaw the washing of streets and sidewalks, mandate regular sweeping of larger parking lots to remove debris and specify the proper disposal of food waste at restaurants.
The state Regional Water Quality Control Board is scheduled to vote on the plan July 15.
Because all eight members of the board are appointees of Republican Gov. Pete Wilson, “that’s why it’s important to have the businesses with us,” said Roger Gorke, staff scientist at Heal the Bay. “When you have a perception that the water is polluted and people are getting sick and no one is doing anything about it, that’s a problem for business. Just saying it’s good for the ocean isn’t enough.”
Runoff from businesses, roadways and construction zones is considered the primary source of pollution in Santa Monica Bay. Controlling runoff into storm drains is the most important tool to heal the bay, breakfast participants said.
“The 40 Day Fight is a campaign to protect the health of 60 million people,” Andy Goodman of Environmental Media Assn. said.