On June 3, a Union Pacific train with 96 tank cars full of crude oil derailed in Oregon along the Columbia River Gorge. Sixteen tank cars left the rails and four ruptured, spilling oil. A crude oil fire burned for 13 hours, and the accident damaged a sewage treatment plant, which had to be closed. An unknown amount of oil reached the river, possibly through a sewage pipe broken in the accident. An oil sheen on the water was visible from the air two days after the accident.
Plans to divert fresh water from the Sacramento River and send it through two tunnels to pumps on the southern end of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta could devastate the San Francisco Bay-Delta ecosystem. Baykeeper has worked to oppose the construction of Delta tunnels for many years. Now, we have issued a summary of our science-based position for rejecting the tunnels plan, known as California WaterFix.
Consistent with the conclusions of agencies, independent scientists, and other nonprofit organizations, Baykeeper has determined that:
Baykeeper is keeping up the pressure to block Valero Energy Corporation’s plan to enlarge the train yard at its Benicia refinery.
Four bills introduced in the California Legislature by State Senator Loni Hancock would reduce the threat of pollution from coal in San Francisco Bay and local communities. Baykeeper supports all four.
CSL, a metal plating and coating company in Santa Clara, recently agreed to keep contaminated rainwater from running off of its site and into storm drains that eventually flow to San Francisco Bay.
Baykeeper sued the company under the federal Clean Water Act because its storm water runoff contained high levels of aluminum, zinc, iron, nitrate, nitrite, and acid. These pollutants are toxic to fish and other aquatic life.
Baykeeper recommends a Yes vote on Measure AA in the California primary election on June 7.
Measure AA provides funds to:
Can 10 million tons of Utah coal per year be brought by train through the Bay Area and shipped from Oakland to Asia, without polluting neighborhoods and San Francisco Bay? The developers of a bulk shipping terminal in Oakland claim it can be done, in an opinion piece on the pages of the April issue of Bay Crossings newspaper. On the same pages, Baykeeper refutes the developer’s claims, explaining how much harm coal export from Oakland would create for San Francisco Bay, the Bay Area, and the global climate.
In the 32nd victory for Baykeeper’s Bay-Safe Industry Campaign, San Rafael Rock Quarry recently agreed to improve its operations to protect San Francisco Bay from contaminated runoff. The quarry is on the Bay shoreline, and during rainstorms, polluted rainwater has run off the site directly into the Bay.
Baykeeper is proud to announce our 2016 Blue Rivet Award winners. The Blue Rivet Award honors community members and businesses that believe in Baykeeper’s vision of a safe and thriving San Francisco Bay and that have made significant strides to help achieve that vision.
Baykeeper’s Pollution Hotline received several pollution reports after each of two recent San Francisco fireworks shows held as part of the Super Bowl 50 festivities.