Northern News

APA CA logo

A publication of the American Planning Association, California Chapter, Northern Section

Creating great communities for all

New study catalogs water pollutants released by Bay Area oil refineries

By Julie Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle, January 27, 2023

“Chevron representatives said the report is misleading because federal data includes stormwater discharge treated at the facility. State data, the company says, does not include the stormwater releases and shows they were in violation just once in that same two-year time period, company spokesman Allen Ross said.

“The bulk of the project’s report, however, focused on pollution discharges that don’t have limits — an even bigger problem signaling that the government should take a more aggressive stance toward protecting water, said Eric Shaeffer, Environmental Integrity Project executive director.

“The EPA has not lived up to its obligations under the Clean Water Act to ensure waterways are safe for people and wildlife again, [Shaeffer] said.

“EPA spokesman John Senn said the agency was aware of the report and would review it.

“The Clean Water Act called for the EPA to limit how much from a long list of substances are released into waterways, but the agency has enacted limits on only ten pollutants, including ammonia, chromium, suspended solids, sulfides, oils and grease, according to the report.

“But refineries produce far more chemicals and other substances and send discharges into local waters, according to the report.

“These substances contribute to harmful algae blooms, corrode drinking water infrastructure and lurk in the sediment lining the bottoms of river, lakes and estuaries, according to the Environmental Integrity Project.”

Read the full article here. (~4 min., paywall)

Scroll to Top