Thursday, April 22, 2010
The Environmental Protection Agency and Earth Day share the same 40th anniversary Thursday. While California has recently been on the leading edge of some stringent environmental regulations, the EPA has not always followed the state's lead.
The Environmental Protection Agency and Earth Day share the same 40th anniversary on Thursday.
While California has recently been on the leading edge of some stringent environmental regulations, the EPA has not always followed the state's lead.
The EPA's Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator is Jared Blumenfeld. He took over the position in January.
In an interview with KPBS News, Blumenfeld talked about the importance of Earth Day and the EPA.
"It really is a watershed moment for the EPA," said Blumenfeld. "Many of the issues that we came into existence to deal we're making good progress on. The air across the United States is cleaner; the water is also cleaner."
Blumenfeld recently visited military bases in San Diego to check environmental projects.
"I think they're looking at renewable energy," said Blumenfeld. "I was impressed by all the work they're doing looking at water runoff. I really think Rear Admiral (William) French and his team deserve a lot of credit."
Rear Admiral William French is commander of the Navy Region Southwest.
Blumenfeld also lauded a recycling program at Camp Pendleton.
Blumenfeld says reducing border sewage from Tijuana is a key priority for the EPA.
"When you look at the track record there's been a huge amount of activity," said Blumenfeld. "Since 1998 we've spent more than $130 million in Tijuana and Tecate on wastewater and sewage projects. A huge amount of money. There's obviously a lot more need than there is money to do the projects."
On other issues, Blumenfeld says the city of San Diego has likely received its last waiver of federal Clean Air Act rules for the Point Loma Sewage Treatment Plant.
The federal Clean Water Act requires cities to add secondary treatment to sewage before it's discharged into the ocean.
The city of San Diego hasn't had to upgrade the Point Loma Sewage Treatment Plant because the EPA has granted the city three exemptions from the law.
It is the only sewage plant in the country that does not meet federal clean water rules.