Proposed Vallejo Export Terminal and Cement Plant Could Harm the Bay

A bulk shipping port and cement plant proposed along the shores of Mare Island Strait in Vallejo could contaminate San Francisco Bay and nearby communities, Baykeeper recently told Vallejo city leaders. Baykeeper is particularly concerned that the terminal would be used to ship dirty fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum coke, a toxic byproduct of oil refining. It’s likely that toxic dust would be blown and washed into the Bay.

The project would also fill several acres of Bay wetlands, reduce public access to the shoreline, and disrupt the San Francisco Bay Trail.

Advocating Against Crude Oil Shipped in Tank Cars Near the Bay’s Shore

Baykeeper recently urged Benicia city leaders to block Valero Energy Corporation’s plan to enlarge the train yard at its Benicia refinery. If Valero gets its way, two 50-car trains per day would carry dirty and explosive crude oil on tracks beside Suisun Bay, a San Francisco Bay inlet and important wildlife habitat area. Oil spilled along Suisun Bay's shore could quickly spread throughout San Francisco Bay.

Yet the project planners greatly underestimate the risk of fires, explosions, and oil spills as a result in the increase in shipping crude oil to the facility by rail.

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Delta Tunnels Renamed Cal Water Fix, Still Bad for the Bay

The 35-mile tunnels proposed to route freshwater from the northern end of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to pumps on the southern end have a new name, the California Water Fix. But that doesn’t change the harm that this project, estimated to cost $25 billion, would cause to San Francisco Bay. The tunnels would starve the Bay of freshwater, increase pollution, and endanger fish.

Governor Brown Signs Ban on Plastic Microbeads

In a win for a safer San Francisco Bay, Governor Jerry Brown recently signed AB 888, a statewide ban on the sale of consumer products containing plastic microbeads. The nation’s strongest ban so far, the law does not include an exception included in bans passed in other states that allow so-called “biodegradable” plastic microbeads. The ban goes into effect in 2020.

San Francisco Baykeeper advocated in support of this legislation, along with our environmental partners, including Clean Water Action and 5 Gyres. We also provided legal advice in the drafting of the legislation.

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Marin Concrete Plant Agrees to Protect the Bay from Contaminated Runoff

Shamrock Materials, Inc. recently agreed to implement pollution controls at its San Rafael concrete production plant in order to protect San Francisco Bay from contaminated runoff. Baykeeper brought suit under the Clean Water Act based on the company’s reports of pollution in storm water running off its site.

Baykeeper Challenges Oakland Coal Export Terminal in Court

Baykeeper is adding a legal challenge to our advocacy against the shipment of coal by rail along San Francisco Bay’s shoreline. On October 2nd, we filed suit in Alameda County Superior Court against the city of Oakland and the developer of a bulk shipping terminal included in the redevelopment of the Oakland Army Base. Our lawsuit charges that under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the city and the developer failed to analyze the environmental impacts of transporting coal to and exporting coal from the terminal.  

Pulse of the Bay Report Shows Need for Baykeeper’s Efforts to Stop Pollution

The Pulse of the Bay report, just published by the San Francisco Estuary Institute, summarizes the present state of Bay water quality and looks ahead to the possible condition of the Bay 50 years from now. The report documents the levels of pollutants found in the Bay, and examines whether the Bay’s waters are clean enough to be safe for fishing, for swimming, and to provide healthy habitat for aquatic life.

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