When Baykeeper scientists recently reviewed pollution data from across the Bay Area, one facility stood out. Water quality results from PJ’s Rebar revealed that its Fremont facility was releasing heavy metals, nitrogen, and other pollutants.
Industrial pollutants pose a significant health risk to wildlife and people. Heavy metals are toxic, and excessive nitrogen can deplete oxygen from water, suffocating aquatic animals and spurring the growth of toxic algae blooms.
PJ’s toxic runoff was entering the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, which is an important natural shoreline area that’s home to several endangered species and is a pupping site for harbor seals. The Refuge is also a popular destination for anglers, runners, birders, and bikers.
So Baykeeper’s lawyers held the polluter accountable and forced the company to comply with the Clean Water Act and clean up its site. As a result, PJ’s will install an advanced stormwater treatment system and other pollution controls. Plus, PJ’s will also pay a $25,000 fine to the Rose Foundation for Communities & the Environment to support local organizations helping to restore the health of the Bay.
There are still many more sources of industrial pollution around the Bay. But we’re grateful that there’s a more responsible neighbor of the Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge—and one less polluter polluting the Bay.
Read more about our settlement with PJ’s Rebar.
Photo: the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, by Calwhiz, Flickr/CC