Baykeeper Update

Redwood City Concrete Plant to Rein in Bay Contamination

Marking San Francisco Baykeeper’s 37th legal victory in our Bay-Safe Industry Campaign, the Granite Rock Company has agreed to implement pollution controls to rein in contaminated storm water draining into the Bay from its Redwood City concrete batch plant.

Granite Rock specializes in construction equipment and materials, including asphalt, concrete, and rubble recycling. Recent tests from the Granite Rock’s concrete batch plant—located along Redwood Creek, which drains into San Francisco Bay—showed that the site was releasing storm water with elevated levels of iron and total suspended solids (a measure of small particles of silt and industrial waste). The runoff was also highly alkaline, a common problem associated with concrete manufacturing, which can have negative effects on wildlife and overall water quality. These contaminant measures were all at levels higher than recommended by the EPA.

In a legally-binding settlement with Baykeeper, Granite Rock has agreed to install an enhanced filtration treatment system and closely monitor site runoff to keep contamination out of Redwood Creek and the Bay. The new filtration system will remove both total suspended solids and heavy metals from storm water flowing off the plant site. Baykeeper will continue to keep tabs on the company’s outflows and require more stringent measures if necessary.

This is the second time Baykeeper has sued Granite Rock under the Clean Water Act. In 2007, the company settled with Baykeeper regarding illegal storm water runoff from several facilities located in Redwood City and San Jose. Granite Rock improved its housekeeping procedures at all of the facilities. The new settlement targets one of the Granite Rock sites, where improved housekeeping measures alone did not stop polluted runoff.

In addition, to help compensate for its past pollution, Granite Rock will provide $35,000 to the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment for other nonprofits’ initiatives to benefit the San Francisco Bay watershed.

Baykeeper’s Bay-Safe Industry Campaign targets the widespread problem of illegal storm water runoff that flows into San Francisco Bay from industrial facilities. Our campaign includes advocacy, education, and legal action to stem the influx of contaminants into the Bay and its tributaries—making the watershed healthier for wildlife and safer for recreation.