EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler wrote a four-page nastygram to California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday. The governor and the mayors of San Francisco and Los Angeles “do not appear to be acting with urgency” to mitigate the public health risks from “untreated human waste entering nearby waters.”
The State level California Environmental Protection Agency is supposed to carry out the laws set down by its federal counterpart, but they’re not.
Based on data and reports, the federal EPA is “concerned” that the state is “failing to meet its obligations required under delegated federal programs.” The state has thirty days to come up with a plan to fix it, “detailing the steps it is taking to address the issues.”
The mainstream media is focusing on the outrage of California politicians instead of handing out the details of just how bad the problem is.
By now, everyone is well aware that California has a problem with homelessness. In Los Angeles and San Francisco, “piles of human feces” adorn the sidewalks and streets. As Wheeler writes, “the EPA is concerned abut the potential water quality impacts from pathogens and other contaminants from untreated human waste entering nearby waters.”
Worse, neither of California’s biggest cities seems to care one bit about cleaning it up. “San Francisco, Los Angeles and the state do not appear to be acting with urgency to mitigate the risks to human health and the environment.”
He also notes the problem is entirely their responsibility. “California is responsible for implementing appropriate municipal storm water management and waste treatment requirements as part of its assumed federal program. The state is failing to properly implement these programs.”
In San Francisco, the problem is a lot worse than most people could even imagine. The problem goes much further than just piles of human waste on the sidewalk, washing into storm drains.
“San Francisco is also one of the few major cites with sewers that combine stormwater and sewage flows.” The others have plans in place to “meet the requirements of federal law.” Not Pelosi’s district. She gets a waiver.
Despite the federal government forking over a $699 million loan, San Francisco still needs to spend “billions of dollars to modernize its sewer system to meet Clean Water Act standards.” Right now, they are “dumping untreated and partially treated sewage into the San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean where it can wash up on beaches.”
For years, CalEPA has let them get away with “routinely discharging more than one billion gallons of combined sewage and stormwater” every year.
The mayor is quick to weasel out of that, saying they treat everything at least a little bit, so its not “raw” sewage. Wheeler was ready for that.
As he explains in his letter, “San Francisco’s combined sewer overflows are designed to remove floatables and settleable solids only and do not always achieve even that low level of treatment.” The city frequently lets raw sewage “back up into homes and businesses.”
Sewage is only part of the problem. Then there is chemical pollution. “The city of Los Angeles exceeded its permit limit for Indeno[1,2,3-ed]pyrene (a contaminant which is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen) by 442 percent. The University of Southern California dumps 420 times the limit of copper. The biggest source of poison is Marin County’s Sanitary District Number 5. It “exceeded it’s permit limit for total cyanide by 5,194 percent.”
California has plenty of money to fix these problems and Wheeler tells them not to bother asking Uncle Sam for more. Instead they can expect fines for non-compliance.
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