A federal judge has issued an excoriating dismissal of a lawsuit filed by 22 Southern California inland cities that challenged rules requiring them to help prevent trash from reaching the ocean. The ruling, from U.S. District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong, is significant because it dismisses the first of 13 legal challenges to new state and federal rules designed to decrease pollution in streams and rivers and on beaches. Armstrong called the cities’ suit “careless,” “scattershot,” “meritless,” and “especially reprehensible.” In throwing out the case, the judge sent a clear signal of support for regulations designed to prevent pollutants from being swept by rainwater from inland city sidewalks into storm drains and from there into creeks, rivers, and the ocean.