Rep. Peters Reintroduces Water Recycling Legislation for City of San Diego

January 29, 2021 by Sara Wilkerson
Rep. Peters Reintroduces Water Recycling Legislation for City of San Diego
San Diego at night.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – This week, Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., reintroduced the bipartisan Ocean Pollution Reduction Act II, legislation that simplifies the city of San Diego’s required permitting process to operate the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant. The legislation will solidify the region’s water security and further cut the amount of wastewater that flows into the ocean from the plant. 

Upon reintroduction, the OPRA II received support from San Diego’s full delegation. Reps. Darrell Issa, Juan Vargas, Mike Levin and Sara Jacobs all joined as original cosponsors. 

“Water recycling is an innovative solution to help San Diego address our water shortage issues,” said Peters in a public statement

“This bill gives certainty to the future of the Pure Water project, removes needless red tape that will save ratepayer dollars, and reduces discharge from the Point Loma plant. 

“I look forward to an ongoing partnership with the other members of San Diego’s congressional delegation, as well as the City of San Diego and other regional partners, to deploy cost-effective technology to protect our region’s water sources.” stated Peters. 

“This bill streamlines our regulatory process and ensures that the City of San Diego will move forward with our landmark Pure Water project, securing a long-term safe and reliable water supply and protecting our ocean waters,” said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. 

“I thank Congressman Peters and the entire San Diego delegation for their commitment to getting this done, and look forward to working with our House and Senate partners in delivering this essential piece of legislation for San Diego.” 

For wastewater treatment facilities, plants are required to renew their treatment permits every five years with the Environmental Protection Agency. These EPA permits, along with their secondary treatment standards, help limit materials and substances that are released into the ocean daily. 

In order to meet the secondary treatment standards, the city of San Diego would be required to upgrade the Point Loma facility, which would mean billions of taxpayer dollars spent on the renovations. 

However, upgrading the facility would be unnecessary since it already does not harm the ocean environment, according to scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. 

While some wastewater facilities can apply for permit modifications with alternatives to the secondary standards under the Clean Water Act, this alternative permit process can be lengthy, complicated and costly for the city. 

According to Peters’ office, the OPRA II legislation would replace the alternative permit application with a more effective process provided that the city, “meets certain stringent water recycling milestones.” 

“Under OPRA II, the City of San Diego must demonstrate that its Pure Water Program can produce 83 million gallons a day of water by 2036, an estimated one-third of the city’s water supply. 

“With associated water recycling and conservation efforts, this would reduce treated wastewater flows to the ocean from PLWTP by over 65%,” stated Peters’ office on OPRA II. 

Once OPRA II is passed, the Point Loma facility will be monitored and subjected to ongoing research efforts by academic, city, state, and national entities. 

OPRA II was previously introduced to Congress in 2019 and passed with an overwhelming vote of 395-4 last November, but the Senate did not take action on the bill before the end of the year. 

A+
a-
  • San Diego
  • Scott Peters
  • In The News

    Health

    Voting

    Environment

    Illinois Hit With Cicada Chaos. This Is What It's Like to See, Hear and Feel Billions of Bugs

    RIVERWOODS, Ill. (AP) — The ground had seemed to undulate at night, alive with bugs. Crawling cicada nymphs, striving to... Read More

    RIVERWOODS, Ill. (AP) — The ground had seemed to undulate at night, alive with bugs. Crawling cicada nymphs, striving to get higher after 17 years underground, marched en masse toward and up trees, pausing to shed their skin and emerge as adults. And then the fun... Read More

    June 13, 2024
    by Anna Claire Miller
    Plastic Pollution Problem Continues to Grow Despite Efforts to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    WASHINGTON — Plastic is an integral part of our lives today and is also one of the biggest contributors to... Read More

    WASHINGTON — Plastic is an integral part of our lives today and is also one of the biggest contributors to global waste. Since the introduction of plastic products in the 1900s, the integration, manufacturing and presence of these products in our society has soared.  Today, we... Read More

    June 12, 2024
    by Tom Ramstack
    Environmental Investors Accused in Congress of Hurting US Economy

    WASHINGTON — Debate over the devastation of climate change was back in Congress Wednesday, this time about when responsible environmental... Read More

    WASHINGTON — Debate over the devastation of climate change was back in Congress Wednesday, this time about when responsible environmental investing adversely affects the finances of businesses accused of polluting. A House Judiciary subcommittee held a hearing on how environmental activists use their political power to... Read More

    June 3, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Comment Period Extended on Oregon Offshore Wind Leasing

    WASHINGTON — The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has extended the comment period on a draft environmental assessment of proposed... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has extended the comment period on a draft environmental assessment of proposed offshore wind energy leases off the Oregon coast. The new deadline for comments is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Friday, June 14. In April the... Read More

    'War on Coal' Rhetoric Heats Up as Biden Seeks to Curb Pollution With Election Looming

    COLSTRIP, Mont. (AP) — Actions by President Joe Biden's administration that could hasten closures of heavily polluting coal power plants and the... Read More

    COLSTRIP, Mont. (AP) — Actions by President Joe Biden's administration that could hasten closures of heavily polluting coal power plants and the mines that supply them are reviving Republican rhetoric about a so-called “war on coal” ahead of the November election. The front line in the political battle... Read More

    In Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, a Hidden Underground World Under Threat by the Maya Train

    AKTUN TUYUL CAVE SYSTEM, Mexico (AP) — Rays of sunlight slice through pools of crystal water as clusters of fish... Read More

    AKTUN TUYUL CAVE SYSTEM, Mexico (AP) — Rays of sunlight slice through pools of crystal water as clusters of fish cast shadows on the limestone below. Arching over the emerald basin are walls of stalactites dripping down the cavern ceiling, which opens to a dense jungle.... Read More

    News From The Well
    scroll top