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San Diego City Council To Consider $600K Settlement Over 2011 Blackout

The San Diego City Council is scheduled to consider tomorrow paying more than $600,000 to settle civil allegations of violations related to the failure of two sewage pump stations during the widespread blackout in September 2011.

A view of the city on Sept. 8, 2011, the night the lights went out.
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Above: A view of the city on Sept. 8, 2011, the night the lights went out.

After the electricity went out, about 2.6 million gallons of sewage spilled into the Sorrento Valley from one station and eventually flowed to Los Penasquitos Creek. Another 870,000 gallons spilled from the other station into the Sweetwater River.

The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board later alleged state and federal violations, leading to the settlement which calls for payment of $622,707 to the State Water Pollution Cleanup and Abatement account. The same amount would be stayed if the city completes certain tasks in the water agency's enforcement action.

The proposed settlement, if approved by the City Council and signed by Mayor Bob Filner, would then go to the regional water quality board for final approval.

The city has proposed purchasing backup power generators to prevent future blackout-related spills.

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Avatar for user 'GrokSurf'

GrokSurf | March 4, 2013 at 2:22 p.m. ― 4 years ago

This story (and the report by other San Diego media) obscures a key detail regarding this agenda item. The council will vote on funding an approved settlement, not whether to approve a proposed settlement.

According to the memo from PUD Director Roger Bailey asking to docket this item:

"The above item is to seek authorization to fund a settlement agreement with the Board that the Council approved in closed session on February 26, 2013." (emphasis mine)

The memo is included with the supplemental materials for the agenda item.

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