The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) escalated its ongoing dispute with San Francisco, once again accusing the city’s water agency of improperly discharging wastewater into the ocean.

In a letter to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, EPA officials reiterated their assessment that the city was out of step with its wastewater discharge permit, which regulates water quality standards. The letter also implied that state water regulators may have erred in issuing permits to the SFPUC. The federal government gives the state the authority to issue wastewater discharge permits under the Clean Water Act.

Federal officials wrote that they doubted the SFPUC could “demonstrate compliance” in the near-term with the terms of its permits, and so they “strongly urge you to enter into … an enforceable agreement with the EPA.”

The EPA also accused the city of improperly maintaining its sewer system and failing to keep adequate records when people might have been exposed to pollution.

This has become critical issue as the poop in San Francisco keeps piling up.

As distasteful as it may be to discuss, complaints to SF 311 about feces on city streets increased again in 2018, including a surprising surge in Glen Park.

The rental site Rent Hop examined the number-two numbers across SF for 2018 and 2019 to date. According to their analysis, in 2018, SF 311 received 28,315 animal/human waste complaints, compared to more than 20,800 the year before, an increase of about 35 percent year over year.

The site also notes that so far for 2019, the count jumped to more than 25,000 calls, up seven percent compared to the same time in 2018.

The city’s already seen 25,000 complaints, approximately 7% more than the same period in 2018.

One San Francisco native explains,”My wife and I both work in the civic center area and that’s obviously the worse but I can definitely notice it starting to creep out from the city center.”

It’s so bad, the city has it’s own “poop patrol” who cleans up human waste, mostly in the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood.

So far this year the neighborhood’s received the most feces complaints, nearly 7,000 per square mile.

The problem is not likely to get better anytime soon. San Francisco’s newly-elected district attorney has promised not to prosecute public urination and other quality-of-life crimes.

In response to an American Civil Liberties Union questionnaire reported by The San Francisco Chronicle last month, Chesa Boudin said such crimes should not be prosecuted.

“We will not prosecute cases involving quality-of-life crimes,” he said. “Crimes such as public camping, offering or soliciting sex, public urination, blocking a sidewalk, etc., should not and will not be prosecuted. Many of these crimes are still being prosecuted; we have a long way to go to decriminalize poverty and homelessness.”

I wonder what Greta Thunberg must think about the gigantic mural of her face that graces such an environmentally pure part of the globe!


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