Category: EPA

Never-ending sewage from Tijuana

The city of Tijuana is the gift that keeps on giving and in this case it’s the continual release of contaminated runoff and untreated sewage that never stops finding its way to the Tijuana River. The most recent story is of an approximately 14.5 million gallon spill of raw sewage that was apparently caused by a dead body that caused trash to clog up a pump station [11]. How the body got there nobody knows! The area turned into a crime scene and the banks at the pump station were temporarily raised to stop the flow of fecal matter. What’s even better about the story is a reference to a plan presented by San Diego officials to solve the problem that requires between $400 million and $1.5 billion in U.S. federal funding to clean up Tijuana’s waste water [10]. There is so much to unpack from the small number of stories that I’ve cited below (yes, this is but a small sampling) but it’s fairly apparent that the United States has spent plenty of money on this issue over a timeframe of decades. I’m not really convinced that throwing more money at Mexico will fix the problem if they themselves aren’t willing to fix basic infrastructure issues.

Quite a large number of people lost their minds when the San Ysidro port of entry was closed for a measly six hours, just think about how six days might get a little bit more action from the source of the sewage problem? Perhaps the U.S. could raise tariffs on all Mexican goods by a few percent each month until Mexico takes substantive action? Or we could just give some people more money and hope that sewage treatment equipment is maintained and operated properly and that city planning is competently performed in Tijuana. I also have to wonder, why aren’t any Congressional Democrats screaming and shrieking about all of the rare wildlife being suffocated by tons of fecal matter and trash [7]? I guess that I just shouldn’t think about it. This problem of uncontrolled sewage flows from Mexico warrants a much longer post to explain in more excruciating detail (or a thesis) but for now I’ll just leave some video, photos, and links embedded below. There’s really nothing joyful to take away from this post but I do hope that it was informative and piqued your interest on this subject. That’s all for now…

Here’s a short anthology of stories relating to Tijuana’s never-ending deposit of shit into the Tijuana River:

  1. San Diego Reader – Shocking facts and horrifying history of Tijuana sewage (November 1988)
  2. The Washington Post – POLLUTION UNDER SCRUTINY AT U.S.-MEXICAN BORDER (October 1989)
  3. Los Angeles Times – State Aid Promised for Border Sewage Problem : Sanitation: Wilson says $900,000 will be used to treat polluted Tijuana River water in San Diego’s municipal sewer system. (March 1991)
  4. The San Diego Union Tribune – Ocean currents mean sewage pollution potential persists (January 2011)
  5. Surfrider Foundation – Tijuana River: The Largest Sewage Spill We’ve Ever Seen (March 2017)
  6. Fox News – Mexican sewage routinely fouling San Diego beaches, ocean waters (March 2017)
  7. The Coronado Times – Marine Life Mortality and Pollution Levels in Oceans (June 2017)
  8. The San Diego Union Tribune – Where does the contaminated Tijuana water flow? Depends on the swell (March 2018)
  9. ABC News 10 – San Diego leaders present $400 million plan to solve Mexican sewage problem (September 2019)
  10. Fox News – Dead body trapped in Tijuana pump station causes 14.5M gallons of raw sewage to spill into San Diego, officials say (October 2019)
  11. ABC News 10 – Trapped body causes 14.5 million gallons of Tijuana sewage to leak into US (October 2019)

Tijuana River Plume Tracker

tjrpts_20191015_1730

 

Rolling Coal on Cops

I browse through a lot of automotive videos on YouTube and one of the more idiotic ones I’ve stumbled upon recently are videos of diesel truck owners who have voided their warranty with stupid powertrain “upgrades” and roll coal on various groups, including police officers. In a large portion of the clips the cop is talking to a motorist that’s been pulled over simply happens to be behind one of these idiots who feel like holding their camera phone out while driving or recording their face and then proceeding to act like complete morons. I suppose that when you have brain damage it seems like a good idea to roll coal on the motorcycle cops that just pulled you over…

Derp, “Fuck the police.” “‘Murica!!!” Oh my, what a smart individual.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

20160429__op01lipsherp1
Be gentle with me, I have brain damage. And trucks nuts, because I have no taste.

It is simply amazing how some of these dumb-shit truck owners feel like they alone own the road and can do whatever they want. These imbecilic drivers want attention and well after rolling enough coal, voiding a lot of warranties, and acting like a bunch of jackasses they have plenty of attention. For one example, a New Jersey State Assemblyman by the name of Tim Eustace had coal rolled on him by some idiot as he was driving his Nissan Leaf down the freeway. Shortly thereafter New Jersey passed a bill specifically banning the practice of rolling coal. It’s already a violation of the Clean Air Act to remove or otherwise disable emission equipment installed from the factory (a few of these trucks were probably build before emissions equipment became standard on diesel trucks in the mid-2000s) but all these idiots are doing is bringing more of what should be unwanted attention to themselves. It’s not enough to roll coal at a show, they have to do it to a random cop standing on the side of the street. Similar laws have passed more recently in Maryland and Colorado as well.

diesel+truck+rolling+coal
Herp, derp, your parked car is just pissing me off too much.

Aside from the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal numerous other companies have received fines for either selling, installing, or operating street trucks with inoperative/removed emissions equipment. Here are a few articles with multiple examples to illustrate my point:

Hard Working Trucks-Special Report: DPF Delete

Ontario Trucking-CTA-Feds Must Crack Down on Truck Emission Control Tampering

Commercial Carrier Journal-EPA enforces Calif. emissions regs, carrier hit with $400k in fines over DPF violations

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-Clean Air Act Vehicle and Engine Enforcement Case Resolutions

I want to highlight just one EPA case from 2018 regarding the Freerksen Trucking Company:

“20. In response to the Request for Information, Respondent provided invoices and other information indicating that between August 5, 2015, and December 30, 2016, Respondent modified emission controls, including DPFs, EGRs, and/or the SCRs on 22 HDD trucks, and Respondent installed defeat devices on each vehicle to modify the Engine Control Module. Itt the response, Respondent also included additional invoices demonstrating that Respondent was beginning to make repairs and reinstallations of the modified vehicles. Respondent also included invoices and other documentation demonstrating breakdowns and other issues associated with the Engine Control Module that trucks within Respondent’s fleet had experienced in the years preceding Respondent’s installation of the defeat devices.”

“24. On May 8, 2017, Respondent reported to EPA that emission controls have been reinstalled on 21 affected trucks and all defeat devices have been correspondingly removed. Respondent reported that the one remaining vehicle had been sold prior to EPA’s enforcement action and therefore is unable to reinstall the controls.

27. Based on analysis of the factors specified in Section 205(c) of the CAA, 42 U.S.C. § 7524(c), consideration of the EPA’s Clean Air Act Mobile Source Civil Penalty Policy, dated January 2009, the facts of this case, Respondent’s cooperation and prompt return to compliance, Complainant has determined that an appropriate civil penalty to settle this action is $50,000. Respondent agrees to pay this civil penalty.
28. Within 30 calendar days after the effective date of this CAFO, Respondent must pay $12,500 of the civil penalty by sending a cashier’s or certified check, payable to “Treasurer, United States of America,” to:
U.S. EPA Fines and Penalties Cincinnati Finance Center
P.O. Box 979077 St. Louis, Missouri 63197-9000
Respondent shall pay the remaining $37,500 of the civil penalty within 180 days of the effective date of this CAFO using the same method.

So not only did this company have to pay a fine, they were also awarded the joy of re-installing all of the emissions equipment that they had removed (I’m willing to bet that they didn’t keep any of the parts they removed either). That must have been an insightful and fun-filled experience for the Freerksen Trucking Company. Perhaps some of these joyous deezul pickup drivers could tone it down and save their antics for private property, a track, or a show? Or perhaps they’ll just keep bringing the spotlight down on themselves and anyone else who drives a truck (gas or diesel).