San Francisco’s Super Polluters Are Taking Center Stage

San Francisco’s Super Polluters Are Taking Center Stage

San Francisco plans to spend 2 years, $1.7 million to build single-toilet public restroom

In its third-century history, San Francisco, California, has been the first and most important city in the Western world to have a major, centrally-planned government building. That historic and essential feature of urban form now faces a new threat from what local authorities have called an “unacceptable level of pollution.”

On Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to adopt a resolution condemning the Bay Area’s status as one of the world’s most polluted metropolitan areas. At current rates of pollution, one in four Americans will live in what is called a Super Polluter–the number-one environmental hazard of the national economy. By 2030, the Super Polluters will demand 1 billion metric tons of waste and 2 billion metric tons of CO2 annually from American society.

In a city struggling with its own environmental problems, the Super Polluters take center stage. The U.N. Environmental Program’s annual report, called “Global Environmental Outlook 2.0: The State of the Environment in 2015,” lists San Francisco as one of 11 Super Polluters. The San Francisco Bay Area is ranked in the U.S. at the top of the list, with one in six living in a Super Polluter and another one in 12 living in a Moderate Polluter environment.

The Super Polluters include a staggering 1 million people living within 100 miles of San Francisco Bay. They comprise 13 percent of the San Francisco Bay Area population, and 30 percent of its pollution. The Super Polluters make up a mere 3 percent of the total population of San Francisco but contribute 18 percent of the Bay Area’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Since the Super Polluters have no way to adequately reduce their pollution, and given the fact that San Francisco is expected to continue its long-term population increase, it has decided to build a single-toilet public restroom to the tune of $1.7 million. A one-time cost of $200,000 will be charged to the city’s general fund

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