How Did San Diego’s Sewage-Blasted Shorelines Evade the List of Dirtiest Beaches in California?

Heal the Bay released its 33rd annual beach report card this week, including a list of the dirtiest shorelines in California.

Glaringly absent were the ocean waters off San Diego’s southern coast, from Coronado down to Imperial Beach. Residents there have endured a record number of swimming restrictions over the last 18 months as massive amounts of sewage continue to spill over the border from Tijuana.

EPA Fines Imperial Irrigation District for Clean Water Act Violations

The U.S. EPA announced a settlement with California’s Imperial Irrigation District (IID) for violations of the Clean Water Act.

The violations include the pollution of local wetlands, reported EPA.

A Nov. 5, 2020, EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers inspection of IID’s construction of drain banks in the area discovered that activities resulted in the discharge of sediment to approximately 1 acre of wetlands.

Lithium in a California Lake Could Help U.S. Gain Energy Autonomy

Deep in the Southern California desert, a massive drill rig taps into what could be the energy of the future.

Temperatures in the region can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and residents live under the threat of toxic dust caused by decades of agricultural runoff depositing chemicals into the Salton Sea, a saltwater lake.

But in the brine lies lithium, a key ingredient for electric vehicle batteries, and the billion-dollar drilling project promises to not only transform an impoverished region, but also help the United States gain energy independence.

EPA Announces $630 Million Plan to Stem Cross-Border Sewage Flows

In March of 2018, the California cities of Imperial Beach, Chula Vista and the Port of San Diego sued the U.S. arm of the International Boundary and Water Commission over its failure to mitigate the flow of sewage-tainted water from the Tijuana River in Mexico. The lawsuit was in response to a February 2017 crisis, when more than 200 million gallons of sewage contaminated the California coast after a winter storm damaged sewer infrastructure in Mexico (“Two countries, one border and their shared pollution,” 12/06/18).

Leaking California Oil Pipe’s Safeguards Not Fully Working

The ruptured offshore pipeline that spilled tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil off the Southern California coast this fall did not have a fully functioning leak detection system at the time, according to a report obtained by The Associated Press.

The report was compiled by pipeline operator, Beta Offshore, a subsidiary of Houston-based Amplify Energy, and filed with federal regulators. It reveals Amplify is investigating whether personnel or control room issues contributed to the accident but does not explain what was wrong with the detection system.

Rainy Season Checklist | How to Help Keep San Diego Waters Clean

The rainy season is in full swing. When we talk about the rainy season, there’s a checklist that the County of San Diego wants you to remember because stormwater pollution is a major problem here.

“While you’re looking at your property and your home and your world, you should do everything we can to keep pollutants off of the streets, off of our curbs and gutters, out of our storm drains and out of our local waterways,” said Stephanie Gaines, the Program Coordinator for the County of San Diego.

Opinion: ‘Forever Chemicals’ Are Everywhere. It’s Time to Rein Them in

Polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are a class of man-made chemicals that break down slowly in the environment, can accumulate in the human body and have been linked to all manner of negative health effects from cancer to high cholesterol.

But these “forever chemicals” are nearly impossible to avoid. They are, quite literally, all around us: in consumer products, from cosmetics and cookware to food packaging and firefighting foam; in our food supply; in the soil, air and water; and even running through our veins.

EPA Unveils Strategy to Regulate Toxic ‘Forever Chemicals’

The Defense Department said it is moving to assess and clean up PFAS-contaminated sites throughout the country, while the Food and Drug Administration will expand testing of the food supply to estimate Americans’ exposure to PFAS from food. And the Agriculture Department will boost efforts to prevent and address PFAS contamination in food.

The plan is intended to restrict PFAS from being released into the environment, accelerate cleanup of PFAS-contaminated sites such as military bases and increase investments in research to learn more about where PFAS are found and how their spread can be prevented.

‘Code Red’: UN Scientists Warn of Worsening Global Warming

Earth is getting so hot that temperatures in about a decade will probably blow past a level of warming that world leaders have sought to prevent, according to a report released Monday that the United Nations called a “code red for humanity.”

“It’s just guaranteed that it’s going to get worse,” said report co-author Linda Mearns, a senior climate scientist at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research. “Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.”

Central Valley Water Districts Get OK to Sue Dow, Shell Over Groundwater Pollution

A state appeals court has upheld California’s cleanup standards for a cancer-causing chemical that was added to pesticides and has polluted groundwater in the Central Valley, rejecting challenges by manufacturers that may have to pay the costs.

The State Water Resources Control Board’s 2017 mandate for removing nearly all TCP (1,2,3-trichloropropane) from drinking water was contested by the California Manufacturers and Technology Association, representing Dow Chemical Co. and Shell Oil, which included the chemical in worm-killing fumigants widely used by farmers through the 1980s. They argued that the board’s criteria were not “economically feasible,” as required by state law.