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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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

'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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/07/17/1  BY

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. 

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

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


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.

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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


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. 

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.


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.

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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. 

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.

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