Rising Sea Level Could Threaten Bay Area Toxic Sites
Rising sea levels could undo toxic clean-up efforts around San Francisco Bay. Old landfills, shipyards, and industrial sites could be threatened.
In the next 100 years, climate change could increase water levels by 3 feet. That puts more than 40 toxic sites around the bay at risk, according to reporting by Nate Seltenrich in this week's East Bay Express.
"There's a good likelihood that containment measures that were put in place before sea level rise, and may still be effective now, will no longer be effective," Seltenrich said.
Agencies responsible for keeping the bay pollution-free factor climate change into new clean-up projects, but can't necessarily address old ones, according to Steve Goldbeck of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.
"No one has had the resources to go back and look at all those projects to see which ones will be fine and which ones won't," Goldbeck said.
Higher groundwater levels and larger storm surges associated with climate change could also cause toxic leaks.