The $44.2-billion state budget approved by the state Legislature and awaiting action by Gov. George Deukmejian contains $210,000 for hiring workers to find sources of ground-water contamination in the San Gabriel Valley.
The funding, inserted in the budget through the efforts of Assemblywoman Sally Tanner (D-El Monte), will be used by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board only if the board fails to obtain $1 million from the federal government for an investigation into sources of pollution.
Dorothy Rice, a consultant to the Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, headed by Tanner, said the federal Environmental Protection Agency has promised to provide the $1 million, but if the funding is delayed, the state budget would allow the regional water board to start hiring investigators in January.
At first, Tanner had sought $900,000 for a search for sources of ground-water pollution in the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys, but the state water board opposed that proposal because it would have taken money earmarked for a project to find leaking underground storage tanks.
Rice said the state board dropped its opposition after the amount was reduced to $210,000, the project was scaled back to take in only the San Gabriel Valley, and the allocation was tied to federal funding.