During a hearing tomorrow afternoon, the State Water Resources Control Board will consider a plea from local oil refineries to avoid disclosing how much mercury they release into the environment. The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board issued the order for the study on May 2007, after years of advocacy efforts by Baykeeper to hold the refineries accountable. The oil refineries are now seeking a stay and rescission of that order.
The State Water Resources Control Board yesterday unanimously approved a strong framework to clean up mercury in the San Francisco Bay. The Bay has become so highly contaminated with mercury that the State was required to create the clean up plan under an emergency provision of the federal Clean Water Act.
(Stockton, CA) Today, the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA) and Baykeeper filed a lawsuit against the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Board) for renewing waivers that excuse polluted discharges from 25,000 farms from meeting statewide water quality objectives. The lawsuit alleges that the Regional Board’s adoption of the waivers violates the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), state and federal endangered species acts and Porter-Cologne, California’s water quality law.
During a public hearing this morning, the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board will be taking the unprecedented step of requiring local oil refineries to calculate the amount of mercury contained in crude oil. This significant step will go a long way towards protecting the public and making San Francisco Bay’s fish safer to eat. New information suggests that the Bay Area’s five local refineries could be depositing as much as 1,700 kg (more than 3700 pounds) of mercury into the Bay Area’s environment every year.
An attempt by the Port of Stockton to hide, from both the public and the courts, critical documents about the extensive environmental impacts of the Port’s massive expansion project got a stern rebuke from the California Court of Appeal for the Third Circuit yesterday.
Today, environmental groups sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a decision that spraying of pesticides into the nation’s waters should no longer be regulated by the Clean Water Act. Baykeeper, along with five other groups, filed suit in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to overturn the new rule, which re-defines the word “pollutant” to exclude pesticides.
In a huge victory for both Richmond residents and the San Francisco Bay, the City of Richmond announced today bold measures to clean up its outdated sewage system. The effort is the result of months of negotiations brought on after Baykeeper and Richmond-based West County Toxics Coalition sued the City for spilling hundreds of thousands of gallons of raw sewage every year.
In a blistering decision issued late yesterday, the U.S. District Court in Sacramento ordered the halting of all dredging at the Port of Stockton, and characterized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to issue the dredging permit as “arbitrary and capricious.”
Finding that EPA’s regulation exempting ballast water discharges from the Clean Water Act is “plainly contrary to the congressional intent,” a federal court ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Monday to come up with new regulations within the next two years. The order follows the court’s finding last year that EPA had illegally exempted ships’ ballast water discharges from Clean Water Act permit requirements.
Baykeeper made good on its promise to sue the City of Richmond if officials failed to address problems causing massive sewage spills. After five months of negotiations, Baykeeper and co-plaintiff West County Toxics Coalition (WCTC) served a lawsuit today against the City of Richmond under the Clean Water Act for sewage spills from the City’s crumbling sewer collection and treatment systems. City partners Veolia Water North America Operating Services, West County Wastewater District, and the West County Agency were named in the lawsuit as well.