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Mayor Kevin Faulconer is making Pure Water, the city’s plan to turn sewage into drinkable water, a top priority. But the mayors of Coronado and Chula Vista, city council members in Poway and Lemon Grove, and officials from water agencies in San Diego’s eastern and southern suburbs are all trying to rein in the project.

Our bay suffers from industrial stormwater pollution. Environmental groups like San Diego Coastkeeper use enforcement to heal it. Today, much of the pollution in San Diego Bay and our rivers and beaches originates at industrial facilities, like A-1 Alloys, the scrap metal facility recently featured in a Voice of San Diego article. Working with outside […]

It’s still too soon to know if the drought is truly over. We can’t predict the future, for one thing. Nor can we agree on what is meant by “drought.” President-elect Donald Trump, the California Department of Water Resources, the U.S. Drought Monitor and some top climate scientists all have different definitions.

Jerry Williams self-reported stormwater pollution from his business to the state, as required by law. Environmental groups sued over the reports, and as the legal fight dragged on, Williams closed shop. Meanwhile, other businesses flout the law, don’t do the monitoring and likely make more in profit.

In recent years, San Diego water officials weren’t even looking at paperwork that showed which businesses were polluting local waterways. With no official enforcement happening, private attorneys and environmentalists have taken matters into their own hands, filing dozens of lawsuits against area companies for violating clean water laws.

Across California, there could be thousands or even tens of thousands of businesses dodging environmental rules and sending pollution into the state’s waters. Though an entire regulatory system exists to police businesses and keep water safe for residents and wildlife, the state doesn’t know how many unpermitted businesses are out there, or how much damage they’re doing.