San Bruno Mountain project may prompt lawsuit

As one environmental group is reaching a settlement with Burlingame about the alleged spilling of sewage into the Bay, another group gave a 60-day notice Thursday to a developer of 17 homes on San Bruno Mountain in Brisbane.

Unacceptably high levels of sediment and silt have been seeping from a construction site, clouding water and harming wildlife in Brisbane Lagoon, San Bruno Mountain Watch, an opponent of mountain development, is claiming.

The group is asking for the developer Brookfield Homes to remedy the silt flow or be sued for allegedly violating the federal Clean Water Act violations.

The notice comes a month before the Brisbane City Council reviews the developer’s plan to add 71 houses at the site. Mountain Watch Director Ken McIntire admits that the threat of a lawsuit is meant to influence the City Council and force Brookfield Homes to alter its project.

The Planning Commission recommended rejecting the plan to the City Council in the fall after protests from residents and the environmental group.

Since rains began in October, McIntire said he has been collecting samples of soiled water flowing from the site.

McIntire said a lab analysis conducted by an East Bay environmental laboratory showed that levels of silt in his samples reached as high as 900 parts per million, way above the 100 parts per million standards set by the EPA.

Amy Miller, of the regional EPA office, said the discharge level found by McIntire is indeed “extremely high.” But she said developers are not required to adhere to any level of sediment flow, only to implement “best management practices.”

City Councilmember Cy Bologoff said if the allegations are true, it will have a bearing on the council’s decision.

Brookfield Homes did not return calls for comment.

svasilyuk@examiner.com

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