Baykeeper's E-Newsletter for August 13, 2007

Mercury Cleanup Plan Victory:Bay Fish Safe to Eat in 70 Years!

Last month, we successfully concluded a decade-long fight to secure an aggressive plan to reduce mercury in the Bay.  We are proud to say that our advocacy and the steadfast support of our members has ensured that there are better protections in place for our children and for future generations of fish, birds and marine mammals who depend on clean water.

The plan calls for a reduction of nearly 40% of the amount of mercury that reaches the Bay every year from hundreds of sources including contaminated sediment from the Central Valley,  sewage treatment plants, stormwater runoff from cities, and industrial wastewater.

Mercury is a biaccumulative potent neurotoxin with long-lasting effects on human and wildlife health.  Even under the new clean up plan, we may have to wait as long as 70 years to eat Bay fish again because of the amount of mercury already lodged in the Bay from the polluting practices of the past.  This makes keeping new sources of mercury out of the Bay especially important.

And while we acknowledge the significance of the  clean up plan's adoption, a new source of mercury pollution may already be emerging. A recent analysis found that local oil refineries could be contributing as much as 1,700 kg of mercury to the environment – nearly 2.5 times the amount allowed under the new plan by all the rest of the sources combined.  Regulators have asked the five facilities to study and account for their mercury emissions within a year, but the industry is fighting the order. Baykeeper will help the Water Board hold refineries accountable for their share of this dangerous toxin that makes Bay fish unsafe to eat.

September 5: Green Drinks
Join us to celebrate cleaning up mercury in the Bay!  It's the first victory in our new initiative to make clean water happen where it really matters -- in real-world regulations and on-the-ground implementation. We're working to ensure that government, businesses, and citizens are all taking part in protecting San Francisco Bay as a resource for the future.

We're moving our quarterly office happy hour a few blocks away to co-sponsor, along with AbTech Industries, this month's Green Drinks, a monthly gathering of the Bay Area environmental movement. AbTech It'll be from 5:30 - 7:30 on Wednesday, September 5 at Varnish Fine Art, which is located at 77 Natoma Street near 2nd Street in San Francisco. Hope to see you there!

We're Hiring
Want to work for the premier pollution watchdog for the Bay? We're adding two new full-time positions to our rapidly expanding staff and program. Follow the links for more information on our Staff Scientist/Investigator or Environmental Fellowship employment opportunities.

Forward to a Friend and Join Today
Baykeeper works for the day when the waterways in all our communities are once again safe for drinking, fishing, and swimming. Tell your friends and family to sign up for the E-water log or to join today!