Port of Oakland new stormwater rules to prevent SF Bay pollution

The Port of Oakland's new Storm Water Ordinance that goes into effect this month will help prevent pollution of the waters in the San Francisco Bay area.

Port leaders said Monday that the water that runs down residents’ drains should be clean, like rain water, to prevent any pollution from spreading throughout the San Francisco Bay shoreline’s 20 miles.

Port officials have said that they are prepared to enforce the guidelines. These measures should prevent trash and similar contaminants from drifting through storm drains and into the Bay. These new rules are similar to the standards in place at seaports, airports and cities within California.

As a whole, Port of Oakland’s property includes Oakland International Airport and other commercial real estate. The total of the Port’s land covers over 4,000 acres of California land. Experts estimate that over 80 stormwater outfalls from a property of that size have left thousands of gallons of runoff in the Bay and Oakland Estuary.

“We have a public responsibility to protect the waterways near our operations,” Port Director of Environmental Programs and Planning Richard Sinkoff said. “This new ordinance gives Port staff the authority needed to meet Clean Water Act requirements.”

The Board of Port Commissioners adopted the measure in January 2015. 

Experts anticipate long-term, far-reaching impacts. The goal is to keep the region’s environment clean.

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