Clean Water Act is 28 years old
San Diego Bay Council names Clean Water Leaders, Losers

provided by San Diego Bay Council

  eading environmental organizations celebrated the 28th anniversary of the Clean Water Act by announcing their list of Clean Water Leaders and Losers. These Clean Water "awards" are given to recognize demonstrated leadership and to expose those who stand in the way of real progress in solving San Diego's clean water crisis.


Clean Water Leaders



  • Regional Water Quality Control Board is recognized for the recent actions to hold the City of San Diego accountable for illegal sewer discharges and for supporting requirements to effectively prevent polluted urban runoff from new development and redevelopment.
  • San Diego Unified Port District, Supervisors Pam Slater and Ron Roberts, Councilwoman Valerie Stallings, and Mayor-Elect Judge Dick Murphy are recognized for their written support of genuine storm water protections in the new storm water permit. Special recognition goes to the Port District for its Urban Runoff Action Plan. It is time for the other governmental bodies to follow suit and bring the concept to reality in their jurisdictions.
  • America's Cup harbor boat yards: Driscoll Boat Works, Shelter Island Boatyard, Driscoll Mission Bay, Nielsen/Beaumont Marine are recognized for diverting over one inch of their toxic storm water and for strongly supporting incentives for switching to nontoxic alternative hull paints in San Diego Bay. Special recognition goes to Richard Cloward, Executive Director of the Port Tenants Association, for his solution-oriented efforts.
  • William Tuchscher of Tuchscher Development Enterprises is recognized for his vision and public support of integration of land-use planning, water quality, and habitat protection.


Clean Water LOSERS



  • The County's Clean Water Conference. This meeting is clearly a bureaucratic response to stall and frustrate efforts for real water quality protection. It offers up a vague, feel-good resolution that is a poor substitute for real action to protect water quality ction that has been repeatedly requested by the public and the environmental community and, repeatedly, has fallen on deaf ears. It is not by accident that the member organizations of the Bay Council will not participate in the meeting or work with the County until the County demonstrates good-faith efforts for clean water. The resolution should be revised to include specific actions, such as support for site-specific storm water pollution reduction measures in the new municipal storm water permit, and should not be endorsed by other cities until it does.
  • The Oct. 17 vote by the City of San Diego to appeal its fine for a spill of 34 million gallons of raw sewage. The City and the Metropolitan Wastewater Department is further "recognized" for its gross mismanagement of our sewer systems that has resulted in 40 million gallons of raw sewage in our waters and on our beaches this year alone. The City should withdraw the appeal, invest what is necessary to upgrade the City's aging infrastructure, and protect and preserve our waters from sewage spills and polluted urban runoff.
  • Building Industry Association (BIA) and its associates continues to put profit ahead of clean water protection. The BIA has been the most vocal opponent of site-specific polluted urban runoff controls. They have repeatedly demonstrated their commitment to "dumb growth" practices that build new projects without addressing the impacts of those projects on water quality.
  • NASSCO and Southwest Marine, for refusing to clean up all of their toxic sediment. It is time for NASSCO and South West Marine to own up to their responsibility and put some of their millions of dollars of profits toward cleaning up their discharges to San Diego Bay.


Leadership potential

We are calling on the Natural Resources and Culture Committee members and the city's new storm water administrator, Chris Gonover, to demonstrate leadership and commitment to clean water by endorsing the Regional Board's proposed requirement for genuine pollution reduction measures (numeric sizing criteria) for new and significant redevelopment.

"It is unfortunate that on this anniversary of the Clean Water Act there are still so many losers. The Bay Council will be working hard to hold government accountable to achieve the 'swimmable and fishable' waters promised to us 28 years ago," said Donna Frye, Bruce Reznik, and Laura Hunter, Bay Council representatives.

San Diego Bay Council is coalition of environmental organizations dedicated to the protection and restoration of San Diego coastal waters. Member organizations include San Diego BayKeeper, Environmental Health Coalition, San Diego County Surfrider Foundation, San Diego Audubon Society, San Diego Chapter of the Sierra Club, Surfer's Tired of Pollution.