Baykeeper's E-Newsletter for October 2015

San Francisco Baykeeper E-News
Monthly Update for October 2015
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Baykeeper Challenges Oakland Coal Export Terminal in Court

Baykeeper is adding a legal challenge to our advocacy against the shipment of coal by rail along San Francisco Bay's shoreline.

On October 2nd, we filed suit against the City of Oakland and the developer of a bulk shipping terminal included in the redevelopment of the former Oakland Army Base.

Our lawsuit challenges the redevelopment project's Environmental Impact Report, with the goal of preventing coal export from Oakland.

The developer is proposing to export millions of tons of Utah coal, which would arrive in long trains of open cars along railroad tracks near the Bay's shore, shedding toxic dust into the Bay and nearby communities.

Baykeeper is partnering in this lawsuit with the Sierra Club, Citizens for a Better Environment, and the Asian Pacific Environmental Network. We are represented by the environmental law firm Earthjustice.

Read more about Baykeeper's lawsuit to stop coal export from Oakland.

Photo by Paul K. Anderson

Victory! Governor Signs Three Bills for New Oil Spill Protections

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed three bills that will help protect San Francisco Bay and all California coastal waters from oil spills.

Baykeeper advocated for the three bills, joining with California Coastkeeper Alliance, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, Environmental Defense Center, and many other environmental organizations statewide. The bills were introduced in the wake of the devastating May 19 oil spill in Santa Barbara, when a ruptured pipeline spilled over 100,000 gallons of oil, fouling beaches and killing wildlife.

Like Santa Barbara, the Bay Area has a network of oil pipelines which poses a major threat to San Francisco Bay's water quality. The new state bills will provide increased protections for the Bay in the event of a local pipeline rupture.

AB 864 requires oil pipelines in scenic areas to be equipped with the latest technology to avoid spills, including automatic shutoff valves and leak detectors. SB 295 requires annual inspections of oil pipelines. SB 414 improves state government agencies' response to oil spills in order to speed containment and cleanup. It also increases penalties for people who cause oil spills.

Read more about the three new oil spill protection laws.

Photo by Mary Wurlitzer

Victory! Governor Signs California Ban on Plastic Microbeads

In a win for a safer San Francisco Bay, Governor Jerry Brown recently signed AB 888, a statewide ban on the sale of consumer products containing plastic microbeads.

The nation's strongest ban of its kind so far, the law does not include an exception included in bans passed in other states that allow so-called "biodegradable" plastic microbeads.

Baykeeper advocated in support of this legislation, along with Clean Water Action and 5 Gyres. We also provided legal advice in the drafting of the legislation.

Microbeads are tiny particles of plastic used in facial scrub, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, eyeliner, lip gloss, deodorant, and sunblock. When these products are washed down a sink or shower drain, they aren't removed by treatment at a wastewater plant—so they enter San Francisco Bay, polluting the water and wildlife habitat.

Until the ban takes effect in 2020, you can help by avoiding any personal care product with an ingredient list that includes Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), or nylon. Safe alternative ingredients that provide scrubbing include ground apricot shells and cocoa beans.

Learn more about microbead pollution and the new statewide ban.

Photo by Robb Most

Victory! Marin Concrete Plant Agrees to Keep Toxic Runoff out of the Bay

Shamrock Materials, Inc. recently signed an agreement with Baykeeper requiring the San Rafael concrete production plant to keep contaminated rainwater from running off its site and polluting San Francisco Bay. It's the 29th victory in Baykeeper's Bay-Safe Industry Campaign.

The agreement will protect the Bay from several pollutants that are a threat to wildlife, including pollutants that, at high levels, can kill fish and smother aquatic plant and animal life.

Shamrock Materials is now required to implement pollution controls that include capturing and filtering its runoff before it leaves the site.

Learn more about Baykeeper's pollution cleanup agreement with Shamrock Materials.

Tomorrow Night: Media SharkTank Benefit for Baykeeper

A big thank you to 10Fold Communications for supporting Baykeeper's work for a healthy San Francisco Bay.

Tomorrow night, October 15, 10Fold brings CEOs and executive spokespersons together to pitch their companies' stories to a panel of top business and broadcast journalists. The media "sharks" give the CEOs and executives valuable feedback to improve their communications.

10Fold—formerly Trainer Communications, a full service business-to-business technology public relations agency—donates the proceeds from the annual event to support Baykeeper's work to protect San Francisco Bay. This helps keep the Bay healthy for fish, birds, seals, and real live sharks.

Learn more about tomorrow night's Media SharkTank.

Taste Wine to Support a Healthy Bay on October 20

Taste wine from 2015's top 100 wineries and sample delectable dishes from the year's new and notable restaurants at Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting.

A big thank you to Wine & Spirits for making this event a benefit for Baykeeper's work to protect San Francisco Bay from pollution.

The Top 100 Tasting will be held on October 20 in City View at the Metreon in San Francisco. Look for the Baykeeper table at the festivities!

Tickets are still available, but the Top 100 Tastings of years past have sold out, and advance purchase is advised.

Learn more and purchase tickets to the Wine & Spirits Top 100.

Thanks, Coastal Cleanup Day Volunteers!

Thank you to the volunteers and staff who helped remove trash and debris from San Francisco's India Basin Shoreline Park on September 19, Coastal Cleanup Day.

Our cleanup was part of a statewide effort, with tens of thousands of volunteers out removing trash from California's beaches and inland shorelines. Together with volunteers at other east side San Francisco sites, we collected 7.29 tons of debris. Half of the trash was recycled and diverted from the landfill.

Three cheers for keeping trash out of San Francisco Bay!

View photos of Baykeeper volunteers and staff at Coastal Cleanup Day.

Photo by Robert McKinney

(Photo at top by Roberto Soncin Gerometta)