Clean Water Programs

Clean Water Programs

The Port of Oakland's Clean Water Program: Doing Our Part to Keep the San Francisco Bay Clean

The Port of Oakland (Port) is committed to conducting its operations in the most sustainable and environmentally sensitive manner possible. The Port’s Clean Water Program is one example of this commitment to environmental stewardship.

Storm water, which includes contaminants washed from streets, homes, gardens, businesses and industrial areas, is the largest source of pollution in the San Francisco Bay. Motor oil, brake pad dust, pesticides, dirt and litter wash into storm drains leaving a clean street, but adding contaminants to the bay. Some of these contaminants can poison small fish, or be taken up and stored in their body tissues. As larger fish or birds feed on the small fish, contaminants accumulate and can be consumed by humans.


In July 2013, the Port joined the statewide Municipal General Permit for storm water, which mandates many procedures and controls designed to reduce pollutants in runoff.

Municipal General Permit Resources

During the 5-year phase-in period, the Port will implement new initiatives to control pollution and educate its employees, tenants and the public as to how they can help. The primary components of the Port’s Municipal Storm Water Program include:

Not sure who to contact or have a general question? Use our contact form to route your request

Public Outreach and Education

 The Port seeks opportunities to incorporate environmental awareness into everyday Port business. Check out the Port’s first ANNUAL STORMWATER PROGRAM NEWSLETTER (pdf) (May 2016) and a fun ANTI-TRASH VIDEO (wmv) prepared by Port staff!

Post-Construction Storm Water Controls

The Port requires all new developments and redevelopments meeting the impervious surface threshold (i.e., ≥ 5,000 square feet) to comply with the State’s Low Impact Development design standards. Refer to the Port’s 2015 Post-Construction Stormwater Design Manual for guidance in the project design process. Smaller projects may still need to implement site design measures to reduce offsite storm water runoff.

Post-Construction Storm Water Controls

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

The Port promotes IPM as a sensible and effective approach to managing pests in landscaped areas while reducing potential water quality impacts.

IPM Resources

Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination

Storm drains are meant for conveying only rain water as this water is not treated prior to discharging to the bay. Disposal of other wastes such as motor oil, paint, wash water, or pet waste down a storm drain can introduce pathogens, nutrients, detergents, and various toxic pollutants to our waterways. The Port is implementing a program to spot and eliminate illicit discharges.

YOU CAN HELP! Contact us regarding illicit discharges/connections to the Port’s storm drains or illegal dumping. We also welcome any comments you might have about our Clean Water Program.

Industrial Storm Water Program

The Port has worked in partnership with Port tenants to conduct pollution prevention training sessions, perform regular inspections at the Port and tenant facilities, and test and monitor storm flows to minimize the introduction of contaminants into the bay. The airport and its tenants currently operate under the State’s Industrial General Permit.

Industrial General Permit Resources