In June 2016, the Oakland City Council took an historic step and unanimously approved an ordinance banning coal from being handled and stored in the City of Oakland. Despite broad local support for the City’s bold decision to strongly protect public health, the developer of a proposed new shipping terminal is now challenging the ban, calling the city’s ordinance an abuse of power and violation of federal laws that regulate commerce and shipping.
In the face of alarming signs of ecosystem collapse in parts of the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary, Baykeeper is advocating in support of increasing freshwater flows to the Bay and Delta from the San Joaquin River. Currently, most of the water in the San Joaquin and its tributaries is diverted for use by agriculture and human consumption, leaving too little to support healthy habitat in the Bay and Delta.
An Ecosystem Starved For Water
Baykeeper is celebrating a new victory to stop pollution in San Francisco Bay. We recently reached an agreement with a polluting industrial facility, Asphalt Shingle Recyclers, to keep contaminated rainy-season runoff from flowing off its Oakland property into Bay tributaries.
Asphalt Shingle Recyclers, LLC, recycles concrete, asphalt shingles, and other construction debris. The facility discharges storm water into a ditch outside its northern perimeter that empties into East Creek Slough. The slough connects to San Leandro Bay, an inlet of San Francisco Bay.
Baykeeper is urging the State Water Board and Environmental Protection Agency to limit the amount of toxic selenium allowed in San Francisco Bay. Bay Area oil refineries are the region’s largest source of selenium in the Bay, but refinery representatives have undermined efforts to institute stronger controls on this dangerous toxin.
A special message from Baykeeper's Executive Director on the election:
I’m guessing you feel as shocked and worried as I do. The election results have made this a time of uncertainty for all of us who support the environment, equality, and social justice.
But amid the concerns, I’m also proud to be fighting the good fight for San Francisco Bay alongside you. You are a force for goodness and sanity. And now more than ever, your community and your country need you.
Marking San Francisco Baykeeper’s 37th legal victory in our Bay-Safe Industry Campaign, the Granite Rock Company has agreed to implement pollution controls to rein in contaminated storm water draining into the Bay from its Redwood City concrete batch plant.
In Baykeeper’s latest victory to clean up toxic industrial pollution, Pinole Rodeo Auto Wreckers has agreed to prevent contaminated rainwater from running off its site into San Francisco Bay.
Baykeeper sued the company under the Clean Water Act after the company’s own reports showed that during rain storms, water running off the site contained high levels of oil, grease, and total suspended solids (a measure of small particles, including industrial waste).
In response to pressure from Baykeeper, our partner environmental organizations, and local residents, Benicia’s City Council voted unanimously on September 20th to reject Valero Energy Corporation’s proposal to expand the rail yard at its Benicia refinery. An expansion of the refinery’s rail yard would have dramatically increased the number of tank cars filled with crude oil traveling on tracks near San Francisco Bay.
Last week, two mysterious oily sheens appeared in San Pablo Bay, the northern area of San Francisco Bay. One was around 40 feet wide and a mile long, large enough to cause ferry operators to temporarily halt service. The other surrounded an oil tanker docked at the Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo.
In the upcoming elections on November 8, Baykeeper recommends a yes vote on California Proposition 67, the statewide plastic bag ban. If Prop 67 passes, groceries, pharmacies, and other retail stores in California won’t be allowed to provide single-use plastic bags.
When plastic bags wash into San Francisco Bay and the oceans, they kill wildlife. Animals get entangled in the bags and drown, or eat them and starve.