Morning Report: Stakeholders say San Diego’s climate priorities are discounting the deal


Business and industry leaders in San Diego have pushed back a new rating system that will show the city council how to prioritize climate action.

The city council’s environment committee unanimously forwarded the policy to the full council on Thursday. But not without members of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and others insisting that the impact of climate change on jobs and the economy be rated higher than it currently is.

How it works: This new rating system weighs 190 different climate actions the city must take to achieve net-zero emissions by 2035, the goal of Mayor Todd Gloria’s Climate Action Plan 2.0.

Greenhouse gas emissions are weighted as the most important within the scheme, so actions like decarbonising buildings are a top priority for Council members.

There are other metrics that weigh climate action against each other, like impact on equity or air quality.

Council member Raul Campillo said the new rating system is not the only tool council members would use to rate climate action.

How we got here: The creation of this rating system coincided with the release of a timeline for climate action by the mayor’s office. The city of San Diego would need to raise $30 million in new money over the next five fiscal years to begin or expand any of those greenhouse gas-reducing climate action measures that the rating system would weigh.

Read more here.

Another onslaught of sewage heads for the Pacific Ocean at the border

Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach on January 15, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

Since a major sewer pipe ruptured in Tijuana in August, an international wastewater treatment plant on the US side of the US-Mexico border is treating more wastewater than was built to process.

This excess sewage stream flooded tanks where solids, sediment, and waste that sewage often brings with it settle from liquids. Those tanks are not currently operational, according to Morgan Rogers, Area Operations Manager for the International Boundary and Water Commission, which manages this facility.

This means that the plant cannot purify the wastewater to the extent that it would normally be able to do before the treated water is discharged into the Pacific Ocean.

Rogers said he hopes to have those tanks fully operational again within four weeks, but they all won’t be fully back online until June.

In other news

  • Give the national news and take the national news. Earlier this week, CBS came to town to promote downtown San Diego’s post-pandemic success compared to other inner-city regions. On Thursday, The New York Times came to town to chronicle just how expensive it is to live here as it tracked whether a $650,000 couple could find a way to turn it into a home.
  • Bad news for anyone hoping the Mexican government will help the US fight the fentanyl epidemic. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Thursday his country does not manufacture or consume fentanyl and that the US must look to family values ​​to get the problem under control, the Associated Press reported.
  • President Joe Biden meets with the prime ministers of Australia and the United Kingdom in San Diego on Monday to discuss relations between the three countries, 10 News reported.
  • The city of San Diego is considering doubling the number of cannabis dispensaries allowed to operate in the city and easing restrictions on their operations, including opening them in tourist areas near public transportation, the Union-Tribune reported.
  • Cities across the San Diego area issued permits for fewer new homes in 2022 than in 2021, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Thursday.
  • The City of San Diego has released a first version of a plan to redevelop the De Anza Cove area in Mission Bay, including converting the Campland on the Bay RV Park to swampland, KPBS reports.
  • At the end of 2020, San Diego County had 56,737 people on its subsidized housing waitlist, and the average person who received a home through the process had waited an average of 12 years. (Republic of Arizona)

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