Baykeeper Update

Marin Sanitary Service Agrees to Protect Bay from Polluted Runoff

In the 27th victory for Baykeeper’s Bay-Safe Industry Campaign, Marin Sanitary Service in San Rafael recently agreed to improve its site to protect San Francisco Bay from contaminated runoff. Baykeeper brought suit under the Clean Water Act based on the company’s reports of pollution in storm water running off its site. In addition, Baykeeper volunteers went to the site perimeter and collected samples of runoff that revealed additional pollutants.

Marin Sanitary Service is a family-operated business that provides services that include curbside recycling; solid waste, yard waste, and food scrap hauling; and household hazardous waste disposal in Marin County. The company had been accumulating many of the materials it handled in outdoor stockpiles. When rain fell, it collected pollutants and washed off the site directly into San Francisco Bay, and into storm drains that empty into the Bay.

Baykeeper’s legally-binding agreement with Marin Sanitary Service will protect the Bay from pollutants that include aluminum, copper, iron, and zinc at levels exceeding EPA recommended limits.

Marin Sanitary Service's owner was cooperative in working with Baykeeper to fix the problems on the site. Under our agreement, the company is now required to install systems to treat runoff from industrial areas of the facility before it leaves the property, cover the open stockpiles, and implement additional pollution controls.

The facility will continue to test for pollutants in its storm water runoff as improvements are made. Baykeeper will monitor the results, and if necessary, require further improvements to adequately control runoff pollution.

In addition, to partly make up for its past pollution, Marin Sanitary Service will provide fulnds for projects that benefit the San Francisco Bay watershed.

Baykeeper’s Bay-Safe Industry Campaign targets the widespread problem of illegal runoff that flows into San Francisco Bay from Bay Area industrial facilities. In addition to legal action against Marin Sanitary Service and other facilities found to be significantly polluting the Bay, the campaign includes advocacy to strengthen regulation of industrial storm water.