Water Protected

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Justice, State and Regional Water Boards, and environmental groups announced the Clean Water Act settlement agreement with the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) and seven East Bay cities at a media conference at Crown Memorial State Beach Monday, July 28.

The settlement requires EBMUD, seven East Bay cities (Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland and Piedmont) and the Stege Sanitary District to stop sewage discharges into the San Francisco Bay.

Under Monday’s agreement, EBMUD and the communities will assess and upgrade their 1,500 mile-long sewer system infrastructure over a 21-year period. The work is expected to cost approximately $1.5 billion. The entities will pay civil penalties of $1.5 million for past sewage discharges that violated federal environmental law.

EBMUD and the seven communities will: repair and rehabilitate sewer pipes; regularly clean and inspect the pipes to prevent overflows of raw sewage; identify and eliminate illegal sewer connections; continue to enforce private sewer lateral ordinances; and ensure proactive renewal of existing sanitary sewer infrastructure.

The proposed settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.