Curbing Industrial Storm Water Pollution in San Francisco Bay
More than 1,300 industrial facilities discharge polluted rainy-season runoff into storm drains that lead to San Francisco Bay, or sometimes directly into creeks or the Bay itself. Industrial runoff typically contains high concentrations of pollutants such as toxic metals and petroleum hydrocarbons. These contaminants place a heavy burden on the Bay’s fish and other animals. For example, salmon exposed to copper pollution lose their senses of smell and their ability to find their spawning streams or evade predators. Nickel is lethal to birds.
Recent data shows that while 95% of Bay Area industrial facilities have violated the Clean Water Act in recent years, underfunded California regulatory agencies annually inspect and require improvements at fewer than 5% of all industrial facilities in the region.
Baykeeper has a long history of winning pollution control improvements at Bay Area industrial facilities. Now, we have launched our Bay-Safe Industry campaign to rein in this widespread, illegal pollution of San Francisco Bay. Read more about industrial storm water pollution and Baykeeper’s campaign to clean it up.
Outreach and Education to Clean Up Industrial Storm Water Pollution
Baykeeper is conducting outreach and education to industrial polluters on how to better control their contamination of San Francisco Bay. Read more about Baykeeper’s education efforts to reduce toxic industrial runoff.
Advocacy to Strengthen Controls on Industrial Storm Water
Baykeeper is advocating for tighter regulations and stricter discharge permits to protect San Francisco Bay from industrial runoff pollution. Read more about Baykeeper’s advocacy to reduce toxic industrial runoff.
Legal Action to Clean Up Industrial Storm Water Pollution
Under the Clean Water Act, industrial facilities are required to implement controls to limit the flow of chemicals to local waterways. Baykeeper is investigating violations of the Clean Water Act, suing polluters and securing legally-binding settlements to control the contamination. Our settlements require facilities to employ measures such as placing covers over exposed work sites; positioning absorbent barriers to collect runoff from work areas; and installing storm water treatment systems on site. Read more about our successful legal action to clean up industrial runoff pollution in the Bay.