Three Marin sewage treatment plants fined despite upgrades

Marin Independent Journal

Three Marin County sewage treatment plants are being fined a total of $39,000 by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board for exceeding limits for discharging effluents into San Francisco Bay... Ian Wren, a staff scientist with San Francisco Baykeeper, a nonprofit environmental advocacy organization, said the mandatory minimum fines serve a purpose by shaming agencies into sticking to their permit obligations. "But I am somewhat sympathetic to those agencies that are trying to do extensive upgrades,” Wren said, “particularly when they might involve more innovative approaches. I do think the current structure disincentivizes innovation and good stewardship of the bay."  Wren said the control board should consider suspending or reducing fines during times of construction or testing of new, innovative systems.