Monterey Bay desalination project is approved despite environmental injustice concerns
The San Francisco Chronicle (https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/City-officials-approve-San-Francisco-s-desalination-project-with-environmental-justice-concerns-5340205.php) ran a lengthy report Tuesday night on how the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved the $4-billion San Francisco Bay desalination project despite environmental justice concerns. (In fact, the Chronicle has never once, by omission, addressed any environmental justice concerns with the desalination project.)
The San Francisco Bay project is one of the few projects in the country, so far, that has received a federal permit for a major, billion-dollar water treatment installation at no net cost to taxpayers.
But the Bay project also faces a host of environmental justice issues, the Chronicle reports.
“The Corps has been pressured to approve this project by environmentalists and community groups who are opposed to its construction, and its proponents have been given a pass simply because they are white, male and wealthy.”
The article goes on to explain how an environmental justice analysis for the project showed:
“the Bay-Delta plan in the water, while technically sound, would exacerbate the ecological damage and water pollution it is intended to solve. Instead of cleaning up the Bay, it’s actually making the problem worse.”
The Chronicle also notes that the Corps does not have any data to evaluate this project’s environmental effect on the Bay-Delta.
The article concludes, “there is no better example of how environmental justice can be a problem than a project so obviously unjust and harmful.”
And, indeed, a number of environmental justice advocates have been vocally opposed to the San Francisco desalination project since first being heard from back in 2008.
But the Chronicle report only tells us that the Corps has been aware of these environmental justice concerns — which is all that we need to know.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants desalination permits. The EPA has long been known to ignore the environmental justice issue in its oversight of the industry. The EPA has been criticized for