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San Diego Officials Score Well on Environmental Report Card


A coalition of environmental groups say city and county elected officials got passing grades for their votes in 2008. But the city scored higher than the county on the environmental report cards as KPBS Environment Reporter Ed Joyce explains.

(Photo: Environmental Groups Grade San Diego’s Elected Officials. Ed Joyce/KPBS )

Surfrider Foundation, San Diego Coastkeeper, the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters graded the elected officials on their voting records and actions on environmental issues.

Scott Harrison with the Surfrider Foundation says the 2008 report is a first for the county supervisors.

The report assesses supervisors on their actions and decisions related to issues impacting not only water quality but land use, air quality and renewable energy. The calculated final result is that the county supervisor's average grade came in at a solid 'C' grade.

Supervisors Greg Cox and Pam Slater-Price scored  B- grades, Dianne Jacob got a C and Ron Roberts and Bill Horn received C-minus grades.

Harrison says key environmental issues the county must deal with this year include border sewage from Tijuana, water conservation and programs to control urban runoff pollution.

The city report card considered the voting records of San Diego City Council members and Mayor Jerry Sanders' performance on water quality issues and coastal habitat.

Bruce Reznik of San Diego Coastkeeper says the overall B+ grade for the 2008 council included a critical vote on water recycling.

Reznik: The landmark vote was moving ahead on the pilot program for water recycling, the IPR project. They voted to approve the project, they had to override a mayoral veto and then ultimately voted to fund the project. And I think that's something that can really leave a legacy for San Diego, of decreased discharge of sewage to the ocean and enhancing our local water supplies.

Current Councilmembers Donna Frye and Ben Hueso received 'A' grades while Tony Young and Kevin Faulconer scored 'C's.  Mayor Sanders received a B+.

Despite the high marks, Reznik says there were a few disappointments including a council vote to deny an additional environmental  review of the Navy Broadway Complex.
Reznik says issues the city council should consider this year include water recycling and a ban on plastic grocery bags.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.


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