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A-Cup: Calm Waters, Smooth Sailing

Cupid's Arrow and open water at Rincon Park [Photo Credit: Cupid's Span by Grathio via the Curbed SF Flickr Pool]

The Environmental Impact Report for the America's Cup race appeared yesterday, and as expected, there have been some nips and tucks in the in the plan. High points (for now- has anyone managed to actually read it through yet?) are: the power generator for cruise ships at Pier 27 will remain shut down until the new terminal is finished, although a temporary one will be installed for private boats and maybe a new one at Pier 70; Rincon Park will remain open water instead of becoming a mega-yacht berth and a future marina; the A-Cup presence off Aquatic park has been reduced to accommodate swimmers and kayakers; concerns about air pollution have been mitigated. For the next few minutes, A-Cup waters appear calm and environmentalists are "cautiously optimistic." The Planning Commission is expected to approve EIR on December 15 and it will go before the Board of Supervisors in January.
Meanwhile, there is no action without a reaction, and the local America's Cup event may have serious environmental repercussions elsewhere.To legalize the foreign-flagged catamarans racing in American waters (ie. San Francisco Bay) Congress had to pass the innocently-named America's Cup Bill, which the President signed this week. Not so innocently, attachments to the bill gave exemptions to four natural gas tankers taking frakked natural gas from Pennsylvania to a refinery in Texas plus a Chinese-built drydock in Alaska.
· Cruising: Working the Waterfront With Jimmy R. [Curbed SF]
· Open Water Stays Open [Curbed SF]
· S.F. America's Cup Plan Now Much More Vivid [SFGate]
· San Francisco Steps Up to Address Air Pollution from America's Cup Yacht Races [NRDC Switchboard]
· President Signs Bill Making Ellison's America's Cup Legal [Forbes]
· America's Cup Race at Curbed SF [Curbed SF]