.Wednesday’s Briefing: Oakland and EBMUD Fined for Sewage Spills Into Bay; Bay Area Home Prices Reach Record Highs

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fined Oakland and EBMUD for allowing untreated sewage into San Francisco Bay. Oakland is facing a fine of $226,500 for failure to prevent sanitary sewer overflows from reaching the bay and failure to repair sewer pipes between 2014 and 2017, in violation of a 2014 Clean Water Act settlement. EBMUD is facing a penalty of $134,000, and the Stege Sanitary District (El Cerrito, Kensington, parts of Richmond) is being fined $26,800. Richmond, Alameda, Albany, and Berkeley are facing smaller fines. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Home prices in the Bay Area have reached record highs, with prices jumping 14 percent in the region from March 2017. A report released yesterday by real estate data firm CoreLogic found that the median resale price for a home was a record $850,000. In Alameda County, the median home price rose 11.7 percent. (East Bay Times)

Speaking of astronomical home prices, the housing shortage in the Bay Area is leading to more hellish “super commutes” — that is, commutes of 90 minutes or longer. A study released today by Apartment List found that the San Francisco metro area, which includes the East Bay, ranked sixth out of the nation’s 100 largest metro areas in terms of percentage of commuters with super commutes — nearly 5 percent of Bay Area commuters enduring super commutes, which represents a doubling since 2005. (East Bay Times)

The Oakland Police Department’s newest police academy doesn’t have any Black or women officers. Although there was one woman and one Black trainee who started the program, both left for unknown reasons. The majority of rookies are white and Latino men. (East Bay Express)

A federal judge has ruled that the government must continue the DACA program and accept new applicants. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge John Bates called the government’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program “virtually unexplained” and therefore “unlawful.” The Trump administration has 90 days to provide more solid reasoning before his ruling will take effect. (Washington Post)

An Emeryville business owner is being accused of using racial slurs against Black customers at his store on Sunday. Witnesses say Cornology CEO Mark Stone aggressively demanded that a group of about 10 young Black shoppers leave his popcorn store and repeatedly yelled the n word at them. While Stone has denied being involved in the incident, a city official confirmed his presence. An investigation is underway. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Chevron has agreed to pay $170,000 in fines for violating air quality standards at its Richmond refinery in 2014 and 2015, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District announced. At issue was Chevron’s failure to report several flaring events (venting out gases during a malfunction), as well as failure to take samples during flaring and failure to properly monitor for hydrocarbon leaks at cooling towers. (East Bay Times)

The battle over the development of a parking lot in West Berkeley has pitted a handful of Native Americans against two developers, who want to build a 260-unit housing complex at the site. (Berkeleyside)

A contract employee of Tesla filed a lawsuit alleging that the company failed to pay contract workers at the Fremont auto-assembly plant overtime and denied them legally mandated meal and rest breaks. Dorley Nezbeth-Altimore alleges she was fired for complaining about the company’s practices. (East Bay Times)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

East Bay Express E-edition East Bay Express E-edition