A bicyclist in Hillcrest on Dec. 20, 2022.
A bicyclist in Hillcrest on Dec. 20, 2022. / Photo by Gabriel Schneider for Voice of San Diego

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Business and industry leaders in San Diego pushed back on a new scoring system that shows the City Council how to prioritize climate action. 

The City Council Environment Committee unanimously passed the policy onto the full Council on Thursday. But not without members of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and others insisting climate impacts on jobs and economy be valued more than they currently are.

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

Greenhouse gas emissions are weighed as most important within the system, therefore actions like decarbonizing buildings shake out as a top priority for council members. 

There are other metrics weighing climate actions against each other, like impact on equity or air quality. 

Councilman Raul Campillo said the new scoring system is not the only tool councilmembers would use to rank climate action. 

How we got here: The production of this scoring system coincided with publication of a climate action timeline by the mayor’s office. The city of San Diego would have to come up with $30 million in new money for the next five fiscal years to begin or expand any of these greenhouse gas-reducing climate actions the scoring system would weigh. 

Read more here.

Another Onslaught of Sewage Heads for the Pacific Ocean at the Border

Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach before it rained on Jan. 15, 2023.
Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach on Jan. 15, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

Since a major sewage pipe in Tijuana broke in August, an international wastewater treatment plant on the U.S. side of the U.S.-Mexico border has been treating more sewage than it was built to handle. 

That excess sewage flow overwhelmed tanks where solids, sediment and trash that the sewage often brings along settle out from liquids. Those tanks now aren’t operating, according to Morgan Rogers, area operations manager for the International Boundary and Water Commission which manages that plant. 

That means the plant can’t clean the sewage to the degree it normally could before sending that treated water into the Pacific Ocean.

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

In Other News 

  • The national news giveth, and the national news taketh away. Earlier this week, CBS came to town to tout downtown San Diego’s success rebounding from the pandemic, relative to other downtown regions. Thursday, the New York Times came to town to chronicle just how expensive it is to live here, as it tracked whether a couple with $650,000 could find a way to turn that into a house
  • Bad news for anyone hoping the Mexican government was going to help the U.S. crackdown on its fentanyl epidemic. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Thursday fentanyl isn’t made or consumed in his country and the U.S. needed to turn to family values to get the problem under control, the Associated Press reported. 
  • President Joe Biden is meeting in San Diego Monday with the prime ministers of Australia and the United Kingdom to discuss relations between the three countries, 10 News reported.
  • The city of San Diego is considering doubling the number of cannabis dispensaries that are allowed to operate in the city and loosening the restrictions on where they can operate, including letting them open in tourist areas near mass transit, the Union-Tribune reported.
  • Cities throughout the San Diego region issued permits for fewer new homes in 2022 than it did in 2021, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Thursday.
  • The city of San Diego has released a first take at a plan to redevelop the De Anza Cove area in Mission Bay, including turning the Campland on the Bay RV Park into marshland, KPBS reports.
  • At the end of 2020, San Diego County had 56,737 people on its waitlist for subsidized housing, and the average person to receive a home through the process had waited an average of 12 years. (Arizona Republic) 

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