EPA fines California's East Bay cities, utilities over sewage discharges

(UI) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board have announced fines totaling $372,876 for sewage discharge violations in the East Bay. The penalties target the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) and six East Bay cities for failing to meet settlement terms aimed at preventing untreated sewage from entering San Francisco Bay.

Under a 2014 Clean Water Act settlement, EBMUD and seven East Bay cities paid a $1.5 million civil penalty for previous sewage discharges. The agreement required them to assess and upgrade their 1,600-mile sewer system over 21 years. Progress has been made, with over 114 miles of sewer main pipe rehabilitated or replaced and over 650 miles of private sewer laterals certified as leak-free.

Martha Guzman, EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator, emphasized the importance of renewing wastewater infrastructure for protecting San Francisco Bay and surrounding communities. The penalties are intended to ensure compliance with the commitments made by the cities and utilities.

The fines are being assessed for violations that occurred between July 2021 and June 2023. Among the penalties, the City of Oakland faces the highest fine of $278,200 for failing to prevent 67 sanitary sewer overflows into water bodies.

Improper maintenance of wastewater infrastructure can lead to untreated sewage discharge, especially during rainstorms, posing threats to public health and aquatic ecosystems. The fines serve as a reminder of the importance of maintaining and upgrading sewer systems to prevent pollution and protect the environment.

Related News

From Archive


{{ error }}
{{ comment.comment.Name }} • {{ comment.timeAgo }}
{{ comment.comment.Text }}