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East Bay cities face EPA sewage fines

The Environmental Protection Agency—or the EPA—is cracking down on several East Bay municipalities for violating the Clean Water Act.

Back in 2014, the EPA entered into a collaborative agreement with six cities and a wastewater district in the East Bay to protect the San Francisco Bay. At the core of this agreement is a promise to upgrade their sewer system infrastructure by 2036.

The fines are related to violations between June 2021 and June 2023. Specifically, the EPA cited “failure to prevent 67 sanitary sewer overflows from reaching waters.” The sewer overflows are likely the result of aging infrastructure, which can become overwhelmed by excess stormwater.

The city of Oakland faces the highest of these fines: $278,000. Other East Bay cities being fined include the cities of Piedmont, Alameda, Albany, and Berkeley, as well as East Bay MUD, and Stege Sanitary District.

I’m a strategist and storyteller who’s loved audio — and radio specifically — as long as I can remember. After studying radio documentary at the Salt Institute, I contributed to Snap Judgment and WVTF News before bringing my storytelling skills to the marketing world. I’m happy to be back where I feel I belong: the public radio community.