The East Bay Municipal Utility District has agreed to pay a $816,000 penalty for discharging 16.5 million gallons of partially treated wastewater into the San Francisco Bay, the water board announced on Monday.
The discharge flowed from the district’s Point Isabel Wet Weather Facility to Richmond Inner Harbor in the bay in October of 2021. The wastewater was released during a major rainstorm, according to the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, which approved the settlement.
The discharge contained chlorine at concentrations toxic to aquatic life, officials said. The district had run out of the chemical used to remove chlorine prior to the release.
It will pay $379,000 to the State Water Pollution Cleanup and Abatement Account and another $408,000 on a supplemental environmental project.
The settlement, which was finalized on Friday, allowed a $29,000 credit for stipulated penalties that the district paid to resolve violations of a 2014 federal consent decree, the water board said, which established additional requirements for chlorinated discharges from the facility.
“This enforcement serves as a reminder to always be prepared,” said Thomas Mumley, of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board. “The reliable operation of our wastewater infrastructure is critical, particularly in light of the increasingly severe winter storms we are experiencing due to climate change.”