Stopping Sewage Spills in the San Mateo Peninsula

Baykeeper Secures Agreement from Burlingame to Improve Sewage System, Files Two New Sewage Lawsuits Against Hillsborough and the Burlingame Hills Area
Contact 
Sejal Choksi, 925-330-7757 (cell)

Frequent sewage spills in Burlingame will soon be reduced through a new agreement with San Francisco Baykeeper to make substantial improvements to sewage operations. The pollution watchdog group sued the City for Clean Water Act violations in February after investigations revealed that Burlingame spills thousands of gallons of raw sewage from its sewer lines every year and uses an unpermitted pipe to discharge treated wastewater to the Bay near Coyote Point, a
popular windsurfing spot.

This Year’s Drought Requires More Than Just Turning Off Your Tap While You Brush

Sejal Choksi
From the August 2008 edition of Bay Crossings

California is currently in the midst of a severe drought. Our streams and rivers are carrying only about 40 percent of their average water flow, and smoky skies have clouded the Bay Area for weeks as wildfires born of dry conditions rage in nearby communities. As the summer stretches on with no relief in sight, we’re reminded of how important healthy waterways are for our state.

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9th Circuit Upholds Case Requiring U.S. EPA to Regulate Invasive Species Pollution

EPA must now regulate ship ballast discharges under the Clean Water Act
Contact 
Sejal Choksi, 925/330-7757 (cell)

Dealing a setback to the shipping industry, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of environmental organizations seeking to force the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate ship discharges under the Clean Water Act. The decision follows a 2005 lower court ruling that EPA had illegally exempted ship discharges from Clean Water Act requirements. That decision gave the agency until September 2008 to end the regulatory exemption and issue permits to ships, an order that EPA appealed to the Ninth Circuit.

How Healthy is Summertime on the Bay?

Sejal Choksi
From the July 2008 edition of Bay Crossings

Welcome to summer in the Bay Area: the fog is rolling, the Bay is crowded with windsurfers, swimmers and sailors, visitors fill tour boats and residents are flocking to shoreline parks and beaches for picnics and playtime. Summertime gives us all a chance enjoy recreation on or near the Bay. At this time of year, I am often asked, “Is it safe to play in the Bay?”  And my response is always, “Yes – sometimes.”

Baykeeper to Address More Illegal Sewage Spills in the San Mateo Peninsula

The pollution watchdog group also co-sponsors bill to reduce sewage spills
Contact 
Sejal Choksi, 925-330-7757 (cell)

San Francisco Baykeeper just announced its intent to enforce the Clean Water Act against the Town of Hillsborough and the Burlingame Hills area of San Mateo County for sewage spills. A recently completed investigation of the Hillsborough and Burlingame Hills sewer systems revealed that these poorly maintained and operated systems suffer from high rates of spills to nearby creeks and the Bay, and are contributing to the City of Burlingame’s illegal sewage discharges into San Francisco Bay near the Coyote Point recreation area.

California Coastkeeper Alliance and Baykeeper Call for Improvements In Oil Spill Preparedness and Response

Organizations Respond to Release of Phase II U.S. Coast Guard Review of Cosco Busan Oil Spill
Contact 
Deb Self, San Francisco Baykeeper, 415-856-0444 x108, cell: 510-882-1882

The California Coastkeeper Alliance (CCKA), a coalition of 12 Waterkeeper groups spanning the coast from the Oregon border to San Diego, and San Francisco Baykeeper today called on the U.S. Coast Guard and the State of California’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response to work with the public and lawmakers to improve oil spill preparedness and response in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the state. CCKA and Baykeeper spoke in response to the U.S. Coast Guard’s release today of its Phase II Incident Specific Preparedness Review (ISPR) Report on the M/V Cosco Busan oil spill.

The Impacts of Our Morning Routines

Sejal Choksi
From the May 2008 edition of Bay Crossings

I have a fairly standard morning routine: I shower, wash my hair and apply moisturizer, then have breakfast. It’s an average morning that I am sure is similar to many people’s – but I’m guessing that few of us consider our morning routines to have a direct impact on local water quality. When I leave the house to catch BART, I leave behind traces of my routine. My body did not absorb all of the caffeine that was in my coffee, and the shampoo, conditioner and moisturizer I used washed down the drain, where it will eventually reach the Bay.

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Judge Tosses Biological Opinion for Salmon and Steelhead in California

Groups say delta water project operations must protect water supply for fish and people
Contact 
Sejal Choksi, 925-330-7757 (cell)

A federal judge has invalidated a water plan that would have allowed more pumping from the San Francisco Bay Delta at the expense of five species of protected salmon and steelhead trout. Fishing and conservation groups and a California tribe called the ruling a victory for the millions of Californians who depend on the delta for drinking water, fishing jobs and agriculture. The ruling comes in the wake of federal fisheries managers’ unprecedented April 10 decision to cancel this year’s salmon fishing season because of a record decline in spawning fish.

Protecting the Bay from Urban Runoff

Sejal Choksi
From the April 2008 edition of Bay Crossings

Bay Area storm drains tie into our creeks and empty into the Bay without any treatment or filtering. So when it rains, the cigarette butts, automotive fluids, pet waste, household gardening chemicals, and trash accumulated in gutters is washed into local creeks and the Bay. In fact, polluted rainwater accounts for the largest source of pollution to the Bay. Any material or substance left exposed to the elements can be carried into our waterways by stormwater. 

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