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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for May 8, 2012. Posted: 08 May 2012 14:25:34
ARB Newsclips for May 8, 2012. This is a service of the California Air Resources Board’s Office of Communications. You may need to sign in or register with individual websites to view some of the following news articles. AIR POLLUTION State spars with EPA on air quality standards. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is not protecting public health and has violated federal law by failing to review air quality standards, according to a lawsuit filed by the American Lung Association, the state air board and a consortium of states. A brief filed late last week by the EPA in federal court in Washington, D.C., states that it does not plan to complete the mandatory review until Aug. 15, 2013 – about 22 months after the legal deadline. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/may/08/state-spars-with-epa-on-air-quality-standards/?ap http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/state-spars-epa-air-quality-standards-16053 Court rules asbestos victims can sue machine maker. A state appeals court Monday reinstated San Francisco lawsuits by asbestos victims against a manufacturer of brake shoe grinding machines that released the lethal fibers from brake linings. The suits were filed by a former mechanic who suffers from asbestosis and by families of three people who died of cancer in 2007 and 2008 after years of exposure to asbestos. All said the asbestos was emitted from brake shoe linings by grinding machines made by Hennessy Industries. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/05/08/BU7K1OEL8M.DTL&type=printable Air quality regulators OK new Calpine power plants. Calpine has won permits from air quality regulators to build two new geothermal power plants at The Geysers in Sonoma County, a $700 million project that will generate nearly 100 megawatts of electricity. The first plant could start production in 2014 if Calpine can negotiate contracts to sell the renewable energy. The independent power wholesaler currently sells electricity from The Geysers to utility companies including PG&E, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric. Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20120507/BUSINESS/120509658/-1/jobs?Title=Air-quality-regulators-OK-new-Calpine-power-plants- http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/2012/05/08/29 BU SUBSCRIPTION ONLY EPA delays soot standard again, plans to act by August 2013. U.S. EPA is further delaying stricter standards for airborne soot that comes from power plants, auto tailpipes and smokestacks until August next year, angering advocacy groups that sued the agency to force it to act swiftly. At issue is EPA's efforts to update 2006 national ambient air quality standards for fine particles that a federal court overturned in early 2009 for failing to do enough to protect public health. The standards determine when airborne dust and soot exceed healthy limits. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/05/08/3 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY NRDC Petitions EPA to Ban Sale of Refrigerants to Consumers. On April 27, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed a petition with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to restrict the sales of all refrigerants to anyone other than certified technicians. In calling for the sales restrictions, the NRDC points to the upcoming transition from R-134a now used in most vehicle air conditioners to R-1234yf. R-1234yf is a new refrigerant recently approved by EPA for use on new vehicle air conditioners and which many car companies are looking to use based on its reduced impact on global warming. Posted. http://www.aftermarketnews.com/Item/100136/nrdc_petitions_epa_to_ban_sale_of_refrigerants_to_consumers.aspx CLIMATE CHANGE Dinosaur Gas Emissions May Have Warmed Air. Gassy dinosaurs may have spewed so much methane into the air that it could have helped warm the climate tens of millions of years ago, when temperatures were much higher than today, a team of U.K. scientists reported Monday. The stomach gas released each year by a group of long-necked, plant-eating dinosaurs, which included the world's largest known land animals, may have equaled the total amount of methane produced every year today from all natural, agricultural and industrial sources, the researchers said Monday in the journal Current Biology. Methane, a greenhouse gas, is 23 times as effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303630404577390042359268690.html BY SUBSCRIPTION http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-dinosaur-methane-20120508,0,5712036.story http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2012/0508/Scientists-Dinosaur-flatulence-may-have-warmed-Earth-video Reaction roundup: Climate steps support poll. On average, the poll report finds public support for a host of steps, from tax breaks for electric vehicles to cutting power-plant emissions of greenhouse gasses, has dropped but still retains majority support (aside from tax-breaks for nuclear power plants, supported by only about 43% of poll respondents.) We've asked outside experts to comment on the poll report, which ties the decline most strongly to distrust of scientists among some Republican voters, about 41%, driven by politician's statements ('elite cues' in sociological parlance), ones which have been dismissive of climate research. Posted. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2012/05/reaction-roundup-climate-steps-support-poll/1 Climate change could trigger 110-degree heat waves in Calif. Deadly heat waves in California could happen more frequently within the next decade and could occur regularly by the end of the century because of climate change, a researcher has told the state's Energy Commission. Those heat waves will feature three days or more when temperatures hit at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and temperatures as high as 110 degrees are probable if the world stays on its current path of high greenhouse gas emissions, said David Pierce, a climate researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/05/07/3 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS European slump leads utilities to burn more coal. Europe's economic slump is allowing utilities in some countries to burn increasing amounts of cheap, highly polluting coal for electricity generation and still meet legally binding targets to cut carbon dioxide emissions, Reuters research shows. The EU's carbon scheme, its main tool to fight global warming, caps CO2 emissions on around 12,000 industrial and power plants in 30 countries and requires them to purchase permits to exceed those caps. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/08/us-energy-power-co-idUSBRE8470JZ20120508 EU Energy Chief: Need Flexibility In Solving CO2 Market Problem. Any measure that can be used to solve the problem of low prices on the European Union's carbon market should be flexible enough to account for an evolving economic situation, the EU's energy chief said Tuesday. He said that he will support measures that would boost the price of permits to emit greenhouse gases to EUR10 or higher, from around EUR7 currently. "I am willing to support...to come to a price signal of EUR10 or more, which is good for investment in clean energy," Oettinger, who is the commissioner for energy, said. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20120508-706461.html BY SUBSCRIPTION Teacher starting biodiesel fuel plant in Michigan. A teacher in Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula is starting a biodiesel fuel plant after roughly eight years of planning, experimenting and regulatory work. Bill Koucky's Northwest Michigan Biodiesel LLC plant is expected to be in full production within weeks, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported (http://bit.ly/IUKu3q ) Tuesday. The upper elementary teacher at Grand Traverse Academy said the aim is for it to be "100 percent sustainable." "The concept incorporates bringing a sustainable energy source to the community by utilizing recycled materials right from the area," he said. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/may/08/teacher-starting-biodiesel-fuel-plant-in/ Enviros say CBO overstated impact of new standards on highway fund. Environmentalists are accusing the Congressional Budget Office of using "shell game" tactics in a report last week that warned of a $57 billion hit to the highway trust fund under new fuel economy standards. A pair of blog posts from environmentalists yesterday say that the report by the nonpartisan CBO lays out a hypothetical situation and that the headline numbers in the report are overstated by 10 to 20 times. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/05/08/23 BY SUBSCRIPTON ONLY VEHICLES Toyota to sell electric RAV4 with Tesla motor. Toyota Motor Corp., the biggest maker of hybrid autos, said its electric RAV4 sport utility vehicle with batteries and motor from Tesla Motors Inc. will cost more than twice as much as the gasoline version of the compact crossover. Toyota will sell the RAV4 EV for $49,800 this year in California, and plans to deliver 2,600 units over the next three years, the company said Monday at the Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles. The base price of a 2012 RAV4 with a 2.5-liter gasoline engine is $22,650, according to Toyota's website. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/05/08/BUBJ1OEID3.DTL GREEN ENERGY PUC commissioner opposes Sacramento natural gas storage. Citing potential catastrophic impacts, a California Public Utilities commissioner is urging that a local company be blocked from storing natural gas 3,800 feet beneath Sacramento's Avondale Glen Elder neighborhood. Commissioner Michel Peter Florio issued the proposed decision Friday on the request from Sacramento Natural Gas Storage LLC for a $70 million project to store the gas in a sandstone formation under the neighborhood. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/08/v-print/4473288/puc-commissioner-opposes-sacramento.html MISCELLANEOUS Bisphenol A study hints at breast-cancer link. A new study of fetal exposure to BPA, a plastic additive found in some food packaging, shows that the chemical altered mammary gland development in monkeys. The researchers reported that the changes they observed in the monkeys reinforce concerns that BPA - bisphenol A - could contribute to breast cancer in women. The research was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/05/08/MNLG1OELT1.DTL Solid-green bike lanes spreading across Bay Area. As thousands of bicyclists hit Bay Area streets for Thursday's 18th annual Bike to Work Day, an increasing number will ride in a bike lane sure to grab the eye of even the most distracted driver. Bright green bike lanes -- really bright green -- are spreading throughout the region to make bicyclists more visible and to ensure safety where cyclists are most likely to mix with heavy auto traffic. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/traffic/ci_20567909/green-bike-lanes-spreading-across-bay-area?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/traffic/ci_20567909/green-bike-lanes-spreading-across-bay-area?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com Air Pollution Experts Win Tyler Environmental Prize. John Seinfeld researches air pollution from the top down. The Louis E. Nohl Professor and professor of chemical engineering at the California Institute of Technology studies the tiny particles in the atmosphere for a broader sense of air quality. Kirk Smith examines air pollution from the ground up. The professor of global environmental health at the University of California, Berkeley, examines the health consequences of household air pollution from simple biomass fuels, such as wood used to heat stoves in rural kitchens. Posted. http://news.usc.edu/#!/article/34479/air-pollution-experts-win-tyler-environmental-prize/ OPINIONS Lung Association ratings really mean something. Lois Henry's April 29 column, "Fail: the Lung Association's air quality ratings," fails to mention the serious health emergencies caused by the Central Valley's dirty air. Polluted air sends children and adults to hospitals and emergency rooms, triggers asthma attacks, and leads to early deaths. Even short-term exposures to elevated levels of particle pollution can cause difficulty breathing and lead to heart attacks and strokes. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/opinion/letters/x1088759266/Lung-Association-ratings-really-mean-something Our Voice: Toxic treatment site must meet the state standards. If the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians continues to allow Western Environmental Inc. to treat tainted soil in Mecca, it should insist the plant meets the high standards set by the state of California. Tribal Chairman David Roosevelt made that commitment in March. The Desert Sun hopes he will demand the plant follow the 19 recommendations made last week by the California EPA's Department of Toxic Substances Control. Posted. http://www.mydesert.com/article/20120508/OPINION01/205070319/Our-Voice-Toxic-treatment-site-must-meet-state-standards?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CFrontpage%7Cp Why Anti-Fracking Groups Are Shifting Their Story From Water To Air Quality. Mark Twain said “never let the truth stand in the way of a good story.” A common hydraulic fracturing narrative is that the technology pollutes water supplies. The story goes that fracturing is a mysterious and untested practice, that fracturing fluids are a secret, “chemical cocktail,” that there are innumerable incidents of aquifer and drinking water contamination, resulting even in tap water catching fire, and that “Big Oil” has pressured Congress into exempting the technology from any environmental laws. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/energysource/2012/05/08/why-anti-fracking-groups-are-shifting-their-story-from-water-to-air-quality/ BLOGS Biofuels to the People. The bespectacled Andrew Pannell is sitting behind the counter at Dogpatch Biofuels when I arrive on a Saturday afternoon. He’s been helping out at this filling station Tuesdays through Saturdays since May 2011. He’s an assistant manager, but also a mechanical mentor, gearhead and ardent evangelist of the alternative oil known as biodiesel. Pannell is what one might call a born-again motorist. Before his conversion to bio a few years ago, he drove a 1996 Acura Integra GS-R. It had an AEM cold air snorkel intake with K&N high-flow cone filter. Posted. http://missionlocal.org/2012/05/biofuels-to-the-people/ Lithium ion battery 'overcapacity' could arrive by 2015, would push prices way down. Too many lithium-ion batteries? That's not something battery makers want to hear, but it's music to our ears. It's also the prediction of Munich-based Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. Over the next few years, as battery makers like AESC, LG Chem and A123 Systems ramp up for what's expected to be a surge in electric-drive vehicle purchases, we could be awash in li-ion batteries. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/05/07/lithium-ion-battery-overcapacity-could-arrive-by-2015-would-p/