BAE Systems San Francisco Ship Repair, a ship yard servicing large vessels including cruise liners and oil tankers, has agreed to curb its pollution of San Francisco Bay. The cleanup comes in response to a Baykeeper citizen lawsuit.
Baykeeper documented toxic rainy-season runoff from BAE over the last five years. Baykeeper staff on a boat patrol of the Bay also took water samples that were nearly 20,000 times the legal standard for toxic pollution, and witnessed giant red clouds drifting from BAE onto Bay waters.
BAE will now make significant improvements to its operations and on-site controls to ensure that pollution from pressure washing and other activities does not reach the Bay.
Baykeeper is launching a new region-wide initiative to reduce pollution from Bay Area boat yards.
Boat yards are both a vital part of the Bay's maritime industry and a source of Bay pollution, as paint residue and other toxic substances are often washed from waterfront facilities directly into the Bay. Fortunately, simple pollution control efforts can often significantly reduce boat yard pollution.
Baykeeper's initiative includes developing stricter statewide standards for boat yard pollution, educating boaters about how they can help protect the Bay and possible legal action to clean up boat yards with the greatest pollution problems.
As we reported last month, the Clean Water Act is currently under attack in the U.S. Congress through numerous "dirty water" amendments to major appropriation bills. We now expect them to be considered by the Senate in November.
The holiday season brings a surge of sewage pollution to San Francisco Bay. Cooking and cleanup of rich holiday foods like turkey and gravy creates fats, oil and grease which get washed down the drain during cleanup of pots, pans and fryers.
Fats and greasy scraps harden and clump together, stick to the inside of sewer pipes, and cause clogs in sewer lines. Sewage then backs up into streets, creeks and yards, where it often flows into storm drains and then directly into local creeks and the Bay.
One tip: Wipe down greasy pots, pans and dishes with a paper towel before washing. Dispose of the paper towel in your kitchen scrap recycling or in the garbage.
Join Baykeeper at Cal Academy NightLife on Thursday
Join Baykeeper on Thursday evening, November 10, 6-10pm, at the California Academy of Sciences "Surf & Tides" NightLife event. This celebration of surfing and tidal forces features a photo exhibit of King Tides, surf videos, sustainable surfboard designs, a jellyfish-themed Burning Man art project, live music, cocktails, a Baykeeper information table and more.
Baykeeper's 2011 Fall Newsletter Now Available Online
By now you may have seen San Francisco Baykeeper's latest print newsletter in your mailbox. Didn't get your copy? Check out the online version and read about our new campaign to control toxic industrial runoff to the Bay. You can also learn about Baykeeper's nationwide advocacy leadership to prevent passage of a federal bill that would allow unregulated pesticide spraying in waterways. Want to discover how to stay pesticide-free for the health of your family and the Bay? We have tips. Plus, you'll find a profile of a species endangered by pesticides, the California red-legged frog.