The San Diego Regional Water Quality Board eased cleanup requirements for Chollas Creek on Wednesday — a move that will save local cities over $1 billion.
A decade ago, researchers found that tiny but toxic amounts of dissolved metal hurt marine life in the creek.
So the board imposed strict limits on the amount of copper and zinc allowed in the creek and ordered cities to start cleaning it up. Those metals came from roads, industrial businesses and parking lots. They were mostly carried into the creek by rain. So the cleanup was going to be long, complicated and expensive.
But the rules were based on what’s now considered old and inadequate science.