Pollution Swept Under The Rug?
By Ben Jury
Nov 22, 2011 - 11:30:04 PM
SAN FRANCISCO—San Francisco, renowned for its progressive ideas and eco-friendliness, may not be as green as it seems. Though San Francisco claims it has cut its carbon emissions by 12 percent within the last 20 years, environmentalists and researchers alike question the accuracy of these statistics.
A shot of San Francisco. Photo courtesy of Rene Franco.
Water pollution is also a pressing issue. According to analysis from Baykeeper, a San Francisco pollution watchdog group, “95% of industrial facilities in the Bay Area have violated the Clean Water Act in the last six years.” The Clean Water Act was designed to regulate the discharge of pollutants and the quality of surface waters, according to the EPA.
San Francisco deserves praise for its eco-friendly options. Planetgreen.com, a website promoting environmental awareness, suggests a number of ways to save the Earth. Public transportation, such as city buses (which run off of biodiesel) and the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), shrink emissions considerably and reduce traffic to a certain extent. Many others bike and indulge in organic foods, which do not use pesticides and reduce the emissions of poisonous gases into the air.
Among the largest producers of pollutants are the outdated power plants that supply electricity to the area. A 2010 report from Greenaction, a nonprofit organization advocating pollution reduction, shows that the PG&E’s Hunters Point Power Plant alone “discharges almost 600 tons of pollution into the air every year.” This plant has since been closed in part due to Greenaction and other communities.
Bradley Angel, the executive director of Greenaction, told Canyon News, “Our success in forcing the polluters and government to close [the plant] was a big victory, but dirty energy is now being imported from the grid [in the East Bay].”
Further efforts from environmental agencies and the government will be key in reducing pollution and carbon emissions from San Francisco.
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