Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tuesday Must Reads: San Bruno Mayor Calls for CPUC Ouster in PG&E Scandal; EBMUD and East Bay Cities Agree to $1.5 Billion in Sewer Line Upgrades

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Jul 29, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The mayor of San Bruno is calling for the firing of the head of the California Public Utilities Commission in the wake of a scandal involving PG&E, the Chron reports. Mayor Jim Ruane contends that CPUC Chief Michael Peevey should be ousted by Governor Jerry Brown because internal emails show that Peevey and his staffers maintained a cozy relationship with PG&E officials in violation of the law. The CPUC is supposed to regulate PG&E and other utilities and is currently deciding how much to fine PG&E for the 2010 deadly blast in Ruane’s city.

2. East Bay MUD and several East Bay cities, including Oakland, Berkeley, and Alameda, have agreed to spend about $1.5 billion over the next two decades on sewer line upgrades as part of a legal settlement with the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Chron reports. The upgrades are designed to eliminate the flow of raw sewage into San Francisco Bay.

The GAO says the EPA has failed to monitor fracking.
  • The GAO says the EPA has failed to monitor fracking.
3. The US Government Accountability Office is strongly criticizing the US EPA for failing to properly regulate fracking nationwide, the LA Times$ reports. The GAO said the EPA has failed to monitor wastewater injection wells and seismic activity related to fracking and that the nation’s groundwater supplies are at risk. The EPA said it agrees with the GAO’s findings.

4. Leaders of nonprofit organizations in Oakland say a November ballot measure that would raise the minimum wage in the city to $12.25 an hour will force them to cut back on job training programs for low-income people, the Chron reports. The nonprofits say that state and federal grants they receive will not increase with labor costs.

5. And a state appellate court has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by an Oakland homicide detective who was disciplined for nearly botching the investigation into the killing of journalist Chauncey Bailey, the Bay Area News Group$ reports. Sergeant Derwin Longmire had sued the city, contending that he was the victim of discrimination, but the courts concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prove his claim.

$ = news stories that may require payment to read.

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