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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for July 17, 2012. Posted: 17 Jul 2012 15:53:12
ARB Newsclips for July 17, 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 Appeals court upholds EPA air quality rule. A federal appeals court upheld a new Environmental Protection Agency rule to limit nitrogen dioxide emissions near major roadways, in a defeat for the oil industry, which said the rule went beyond what was necessary to protect public health. Tuesday's decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., is a victory for the Obama administration and environmental groups that supported the 2010 rule, which limits exhaust that could remain in the air for a one-hour period. The 100 parts-per-billion limit was intended to reduce smog from such sources as car exhaust pipes and factories; it was more stringent than a standard dating from 1971. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/17/us-epa-nitrogendioxide-decision-idUSBRE86G0ZS20120717 Industry Group Loses Challenge to Nitrogen Dioxide Rules. The first new U.S. standard for nitrogen dioxide in at least 35 years was upheld by a federal appeals court, which said the Environmental Protection Agency had the authority to attempt to improve air quality around the nation’s busiest roadways. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington today threw out a challenge by the American Petroleum Institute to regulations restricting the peak amount of nitrogen dioxide, or NO2, from tailpipes and smokestacks that can be present in the air during a one-hour period. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-17/industry-group-loses-challenge-to-nitrogen-dioxide-rules.html Imperial County leads state in treatment of children with asthma. Youngsters in the region are far more likely than those elsewhere to go to the ER or be hospitalized for the chronic respiratory disease. Experts don't know why. As the relentless wind stirs up piles of dust and dirt and creates a gigantic funnel of haze in the vast, sweltering Imperial Valley, children like Marco Cisneros battle to breathe. Marco wheezes and coughs and reaches desperately for his inhaler, but the medication doesn't always give him the relief he needs. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-imperial-county-asthma-20120716,0,2057005.story Ozone reaches unhealthy code orange level in Richmond area. Ozone, the main pollutant in smog, hit the unhealthy Code Orange level in Richmond this afternoon, according to state estimates. Active children and adults and people with respiratory diseases such as asthma should limit strenuous outdoor activities through this evening, officials said. To hold down pollution, officials are asking people to avoid unnecessary car trips, conserve power and limit the use of gasoline-powered equipment such as lawn mowers. Posted. http://www2.timesdispatch.com/weather/2012/jul/17/ozone-reaches-unhealthy-code-orange-level-richmond-ar-2063821/ 'Smog Eating Tile' Developed in Stockton. Boral Roofing in Stockton makes a lot of tiles, but there’s one tile that goes beyond the rest. Not only does it protect a home and is energy efficient, it eats smog – well, sort of. Renowden explained the key is a photo catalyst mixed into the tile’s coating, which UV Rays activate. “It oxidizes nitrogen oxides one of the main components of smog,” said Renowden. “Rather than actually eating it, it helps prevent the formation of smog.” That reaction also breaks down to calcium nitrate, which is a garden fertilizer according to Renowden. Posted. http://www.fox40.com/news/headlines/ktxl-smog-eating-tile-developed-in-stockton-20120716,0,1380818.story#ixzz20uOiWHAD Fuel Tech awarded $36.6M air pollution control contract in Chile. Fuel Tech announced it was awarded the largest air pollution control contract in its history. The $36.6M order, placed by E.CL S.A., a major utility in Chile, includes turnkey installation of Low NOx Burners and Over-Fire Air systems and mill modernization for six coal-fired units. Equipment deliveries are scheduled to commence during the first quarter of 2013, with project completion occurring during the third quarter of 2014. Posted. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/fuel-tech-awarded-36-6m-110205027.html CLIMATE CHANGE UK delays green power subsidy decision for second time. The British government on Tuesday put off for a second time a crucial announcement on subsidy levels for renewable energy, risking further delays in projects that will help Britain meet its legally binding climate change targets. The government was due to announce by Tuesday new state support levels for renewable energy projects from April 2013, before Parliament breaks for summer recess. "We will not be making an announcement today. Posted. http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/07/17/us-britain-renewables-subsidies-idINBRE86G0MT20120717 EU carbon rescue plan may not help U.N. offset slump. Any lifeline European Union regulators throw to the bloc's own troubled carbon market may do little to help the United Nations' ailing emissions offset scheme. The EU emissions trading scheme and the U.N.-backed offset market have been in an interdependent relationship since 2005, particularly since most of the demand for offset credits comes from the 12,000 or so big polluters in the EU scheme. Both markets are flooded with supply. Posted. http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/07/17/us-offsets-un-eu-idINBRE86G0LA20120717 El Nino indicators ease, still expected late 2012. Climate indicators for an El Niño event in the western Pacific have eased slightly in the past fortnight, but meteorologists still expect the weather pattern which can bring drought to the Asia-Pacific and damage crops to form late in 2012. El Nino indicators such as the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), sea surface temperatures and trade winds have eased over the past two weeks, but are still close to El Niño thresholds, Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said on Tuesday. Posted. http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/07/17/us-australia-weather-elnino-idINBRE86G08C20120717 Merkel warns of global warming if no climate accord. Chancellor Angela Merkel warned on Monday that global warming will accelerate at a dramatic rate unless leaders reach a deal on limiting greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible. After marathon talks in Durban last December, countries agreed to forge a new deal by 2015 that would for the first time force all the biggest polluters to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Critics said at the time, however, the plan was too timid to slow global warming. Posted. http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/07/16/germany-environment-idINL6E8IGFEG20120716 Scientists want climate change in young minds. Climate change subscribers say the fight against global warming will require younger soldiers. On Monday, the National Center for Science Education, a nonprofit group that denounces intelligent design and supports an evolution-only curriculum in the classroom, will expand its mission. The organization of scientists, anthropologists and others is turning its attention to climate change, and it will mount an aggressive effort to teach the nation’s schoolchildren that climate change is real and is being driven by human activity. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jan/16/scientists-want-climate-change-young-minds/ Poll: Generation X unconcerned about climate change. Amid a summer of record-setting heat, a new survey finds that most of Generation X 's young and middle-age adults are uninformed and unconcerned about climate change. Only about 5% of Gen Xers, now 32 to 52 years old, are "alarmed" and 18% "concerned" about climate change, reports the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research on Tuesday. Two-thirds, or 66%, of those surveyed last year said they aren't sure global warming is happening and 10% said they don't believe it's occurring. Posted. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2012/07/poll-generation-x-unconcerned-about-climate-change/1 http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/07/17/1 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Long Beach Waste-To-Energy Facility Impacted by AB-32; Increase in Recycling Efforts. Long Beach officials are questioning the future of the local waste-to-energy plant as it comes under new environmental regulation and does not meet the guidelines of California’s new solid waste recycling goals. The Southeast Resource Recovery Facility (SERRF) is a solid waste processing plant at 120 Pier S Ave. that burns trash from regional municipalities and converts it to power. Posted. http://lbbusinessjournal.com/long-beach-business-journal-newswatch/136-lof-scroller-articles-12-07-17/741-long-beach-waste-to-energy-facility-impacted-by-ab-32-increase-in-recycling-efforts.html Greenhouse gas emission disclosure can boost stock prices – study Companies that voluntarily report greenhouse gas emissions data are being rewarded by investors through higher stock prices, according to a new University of California study to be published in the Journal of Accounting and Public Policy. The study, which examined 10 years of business emissions reporting through the Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire (CSRwire), found that stock values of companies that disclosed their greenhouse gas emissions rose on average nearly half a percentage point in the three days immediately after the disclosure. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/07/17/5 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Pro-industry groups again ask Congress to kill EPA carbon rule. Conservative groups yesterday again asked lawmakers to oppose U.S. EPA's plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants. Sixteen organizations signed on to a letter asking members on both sides of the Capitol to stand against the rule, stating that it "will effectively ban construction of new coal-fired power plants." "While hundreds of thousands of Americans are directly and indirectly employed by the coal industry, tens of millions of Americans enjoy the affordable and reliable energy produced by coal-fired power plants," …Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2012/07/17/6 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS Shell Oil ship mishap in Alaska fuels concerns. A Shell Oil drilling ship that slipped its anchor in Alaska's Dutch Harbor raises serious concerns about the company's ability to operate safely in Arctic waters, particularly after the same vessel ran into a mooring problem in New Zealand waters last year, environmental groups said Monday. The 571-foot Noble Discoverer lost its mooring Saturday, drifting extremely close to shore before it was towed farther off shore and re-anchored. Shell and the Coast Guard say an inspection of the hull by a remotely operated vehicle showed no signs of damage or grounding. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SHELL_VESSEL_ANCHORAGE_PROBLEM?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Cheaper gas keeps US consumer prices flat. Consumer prices were unchanged in June, held down by cheaper gas. Outside the volatile food and energy categories, inflation was mild. Weak economic growth is limiting the ability of companies to raise prices. The tame inflation was underscored by a 0.2 percent drop in consumer prices for the April-June period as a whole. That was the first quarterly drop in consumer prices in two years. In May, the consumer price index fell 0.3 percent. In April, it was unchanged. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CONSUMER_PRICES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT HIGH-SPEED RAIL Alternate high-speed rail route through Kings County proposed. The state's high-speed rail authority has offered an alternative route around Hanford aiming to address criticism of its plan by Kings County residents. But some of those same critics said the new plan -- highlighted by adding a Hanford bypass west of the city -- does little to ease their concerns over lost farmland, homes and businesses. Aaron Fukuda, a Hanford resident whose rural neighborhood east of the city would be displaced by the original east-Hanford bypass, said the western option will do little to appease opposition in Kings County. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/07/16/2911572/high-speed-rail-kings-county-route.html#storylink=cpy GREEN ENERGY UPDATE 2-NextEra cuts N.H. Seabrook output due to solar activity. NextEra Energy Inc said it expects to be able to increase power at the 1,247-megawatt Seabrook nuclear power plant in New Hampshire after reducing output Sunday night due to solar magnetic activity, a plant spokesman said Monday. "The conditions that caused the power reduction Sunday night have gone away," said David Barr, a spokesman for the plant, noting this was the first time plant operators reduced the Seabrook reactor because of solar activity. Posted. http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/07/16/utilities-nextera-seabrook-idINL2E8IG3XW20120716 MISCELLANEOUS APNewsBreak: Calif. tests show lead in jewelry. California is cracking down on more than a dozen businesses accused of selling and distributing costume jewelry containing dangerous levels of lead despite repeated warnings. State investigators uncovered hundreds of lead-laced trinkets marketed to children and adults, including some pieces contaminated with lead levels more than 1,000 times the legal state limit. The state was expected to file a lawsuit Tuesday against 16 companies — retailers, wholesalers, suppliers and distributors — doing business in Los Angeles and elsewhere. Posted. http://news.yahoo.com/apnewsbreak-calif-tests-show-lead-jewelry-070511491.html Supervisors consider air board shuffle. Shasta County supervisors will renew their talks on adding some city representation to the homogeneous Air Pollution Control Board at today's meeting. The board, which oversees climate change issues by monitoring pollutants, coming up with mitigation measures for them, regulating burn days and meeting state and federal environmental standards, is currently made up of the five county supervisors. The cities of Redding and Anderson have pushed for spots on the board in recent months to give them clout in important environmental decisions. Posted. http://www.redding.com/news/2012/jul/16/supervisors-consider-air-board-shuffle/ OPINIONS Our View: Air pollution talk could use Valley voices. Lydia Rojas' 15- year-old daughter suffered an asthma attack so severe she died. Even though he had never smoked, 33-year-old Robert Linkul of Sacramento contracted a rare form of cancer that forced the removal of the lower lobe of his left lung. Vallejo fifth-grader Jaxin Woodward is an avid runner, but severe asthma forces her to curtail her passion for the sport. These are just a handful of California residents who are set to testify before federal Environmental Protection Agency officials in Sacramento on Thursday. Posted. http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2012/07/17/2421113/our-view-air-pollution-talk-could.html Health Hazards of Heat Waves, Wildfires, and Other Extreme Weather. Like many Americans, I struggled to keep cool during the recent heat wave, but what really worried me was how my father would handle the spike in temperature. Medical experts say hot weather takes the heaviest toll on senior citizens, young children, and people with heart and lung illnesses. Diabetics, the obese, and people using common medications also face a greater risk when the heat rises. In other words, tens of millions of people are vulnerable to extreme heat. Now that climate change is making potent heat waves more commonplace, these numbers will only continue to rise. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frances-beinecke/health-hazards-of-heat-wa_b_1680158.html?utm_hp_ref=health BLOGS Helping Parks Sustain Themselves. Some major sustainability themes have emerged as over 850 landscape architects, government officials, city planners and park enthusiasts meet in New York City for the Greater and Greener International Urban Parks Conference. Among the issues highlighted on Monday were recycling of rainwater and reclaiming former landfills and brownfields as park spaces. Addressing the conference, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg emphasized that parks help the local economy by boosting property values and improving the quality of life. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/17/helping-parks-sustain-themselves/ New Restrictions on Pest Control Operators Will Help Prevent Pesticide Pollution. The following is a press release from the BASMAA’s (Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies’ Association) regarding new statewide pesticide regulations that take effect this week. The new regulations put limits on exterior spraying in order to reduce stormwater pollution from pesticides. Exterior or perimeter spraying is commonly used to combat ant problems at home in the Bay Area during the summer months and during rainy season–both peak times for ant invasions. Posted. http://blog.sfgate.com/incontracosta/2012/07/16/new-restrictions-on-pest-control-operators-will-help-prevent-pesticide-pollution/ UC Berkeley’s Helios Building set to open in August. The Helios Building, a new addition to downtown Berkeley, is in the very final stages of construction and the scientists for whom it has been built are expected to move in over six weeks, starting on July 30. The $133 million, 133,000 sq. ft. building, which stands five stories high on a two-block lot bounded by Oxford, Hearst, Berkeley Way, and Shattuck, is home to UC Berkeley’s Energy Biosciences Institute, a collaborative project between Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley and the University of Illinois. Posted. http://www.berkeleyside.com/2012/07/17/uc-berkeleys-helios-building/ Biofuel from Plastic for this Young Egyptian Scientist from Alexandria. A sixteen-year-old Egyptian student, Azza Abdel Hamid Faiad from the Zahran Language School in Alexandria has identified a new low-cost catalyst which can generate biofuel by breaking down plastic waste. The idea of breaking down plastic polymers into fuel feedstocks, the bulk raw material used for producing biofuel, is not a new idea. But Faiad has found a high yield catalyst, aluminosilicate catalyst that breaks down plastic waste producing gaseous products like methane, propane and ethane, which are then converted into ethanol to use as biofuel. Posted. http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/07/egypt-biofuel-plastic/ Why Global Warming Is Now an Economic Tax on the Middle Class. Given its costs, global warming can now be thought of as an economic tax on the middle class. A recent NOAA report found that 56 percent of the continental U.S. is currently experiencing drought. Exaggerated by global warming, enhanced drought is reducing America’s corn crop and sending the futures price for corn soaring by 34 percent over the last four weeks. This will generate a painful new economic tax on a middle class whose food supply is largely tied to corn as an ingredient and as animal feed. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/07/global-warming-economic-tax-middle-class/ Explaining Explosion of Daily Record Highs Easy as Pie. As the climate has warmed during the past several decades, there has been a growing imbalance between record daily high temperatures in the contiguous U.S. and record daily lows. A study published in 2009 found that rather than a 1-to-1 ratio, as would be expected if the climate were not warming, the ratio has been closer to 2-to-1 in favor of warm temperature records during the past decade (2000-2009). This finding cannot be explained by natural climate variability alone, the study found, and is instead consistent with global warming. Posted. http://www.climatecentral.org/blogs/more-heat-records-compared-to-cold-records/ Cap and Trade: One Piece of California's Climate Puzzle. When the California cap-and-trade program fully launches on January 1, 2013, it will create the second largest carbon market in the world. While cap-and-trade may be the most visible and perhaps most controversial part of California's climate strategy to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, it is not the only -- or even the biggest -- piece of the puzzle. Cap-and-trade is but one puzzle piece among many that the state is pursuing…Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gary-gero/california-cap-and-trade_b_1666332.html