If at First They Don’t Succeed, We Make Them Try, Try Again

Jul 30, 2019

Baykeeper requires polluters to stop contaminating San Francisco Bay… but what happens when they don’t?

We make them keep trying.

The companies install additional pollution controls, and they keep taking water samples to monitor the controls' effectiveness, until the illegal contamination is reduced to levels that aren’t harming the Bay. 

That's what’s happening with SOS Steel Company, Inc., a steel fabricator in Santa Clara. The company has been polluting the Guadalupe River, which flows to the Bay, with toxic metals and chemicals.

In 2013, Baykeeper secured a legal agreement that required SOS Steel to keep the facility’s toxic runoff out of the river and Bay. For their first attempt at reducing the pollution, we allowed the company to try a set of controls that included moving their scrap metal storage indoors and putting filters on storm drains. 

SOS Steel collected regular samples of storm water runoff during the rainy season. As Baykeeper reviewed the results, we discovered that the controls weren’t working to stop the pollution.

So Baykeeper and SOS Steel worked together to find other solutions. We decided they would install an advanced storm water treatment system in advance of this year's rainy season. That system will remove pollutants before water runs off the site, and prevent continued pollution of the Bay.

SOS Steel will take water samples this rainy season to make sure the water treatment system works.

And to help compensate for continuing to pollute the Bay, SOS Steel will contribute funds to the Rose Foundation for the Environment, which supports other nonprofits’ environmental restoration projects benefiting the Bay-Delta estuary. 

This legal action is part of Baykeeper's Bay-Safe Industry Campaign to hold the Bay Area's worst industrial polluters accountable. We have so far required 45 Bay Area facilities to stop illegally contaminating San Francisco Bay, and we'll continue to monitor them to make sure they succeed at stopping their pollution. 


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