|Officials Move Penalty Money From Richmond to Sonoma County
September 4, 2010
The following story appeared in today’s Chronicle. What looks like good news for Richmond and the environment is actually the conclusion of a gigantic ripoff that has been in the works since at least 2007.
Stephen Edinger of the California Department of Fish and Game says the restoration of wetlands is important because less than 10 percent of the bay's historic tidal marshes exist today.
The environmental injury case stems from the Chevron refinery's long-term wastewater discharges which contaminated soil in Castro Cove. The discharges ended in 1987.
When it comes to spoiling a Richmond marsh, you would think that what happened in Richmond stays in Richmond. Unfortunately no. Despite repeated objections from the City of Richmond, Congressman George Miller and state legislators representing Richmond, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the California Department of Fish and Game and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration concluded a plan to use most of the money from a settlement with Chevron over Richmond pollution to restore wetlands in Sonoma County while allocating a token amount to Richmond.
As part of a cover-up for stealing funding for Richmond’s own shoreline needs, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the California Department of Fish and Game and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration held an “open house” to provide information and seek comments about the plan on Wednesday, December 17, 2008. Although Richmond residents demanded that all the money stay in Richmond, government officials turned a deaf ear.