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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for September 20, 2012

Posted: 20 Sep 2012 12:12:17
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 


UL AQS Achieves Accreditation for Indoor Air Quality Emissions
Testing to the Newest Blue Angel Standard for Electronic Imaging
Devices.  UL Air Quality Sciences, Inc. (UL AQS), a pioneer and
provider of product emissions testing, announced today that it
has earned approval as the only U.S. commercial laboratory to
provide laboratory testing for the Blue Angel Program's newest
standard for printers, copiers and multifunctional peripherals,
RAL-UZ-171. Recently updated, the new 171 standard calls for more
stringent reporting of individual VOCs as well as evaluation of
ultrafine particle emissions from these electronics during
operation.  Posted. 

Air board hoses down San Lorenzo Valley's backyard burns: Strict
limits go in place immediately.  Moving firmly to clear the layer
of smoke that often hangs over the San Lorenzo Valley during
cooler months, a regional air quality agency on Wednesday voted
without dissent to enact tough new controls on backyard burns. 
The rules prohibit burning yard waste on properties smaller than
an acre, and would require one of a limited number of permits for
burns on larger parcels. Officials expect the regulations, which
go into effect immediately, to curtail outdoor fires at least 75
percent.  "Our neighbors are killing us with this smoke," pleaded
Rod Jensen, a valley resident who spoke in favor of the rules at
a meeting of the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control
District in Monterey.  Posted. 

UL Reminds Parents To Look For UL's Greenguard Certification Mark
When Choosing Nursery Products For Their Home.  In recognition of
Baby Safety Month, UL (Underwriters Laboratories), a world leader
in advancing safety science, is reminding all parents to
safeguard their children's health by focusing on the indoor air
quality (IAQ) of their homes. It may surprise parents to learn
that indoor air can be five times more polluted than outdoor air,
according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),
which also reports that the average person receives 72 percent of
his or her chemical exposure at home.  Posted. 

SC Johnson Honored with Clean Air Excellence Award for
Long-Standing Environmental Commitment.  SC Johnson announced
today that it has received a 2012 Clean Air Excellence Award from
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The annual award
recognizes and honors outstanding innovative efforts to help make
progress in achieving cleaner air.  "SC Johnson has long been
committed to doing the right thing for both people and the
planet.  Posted. 

New Research Links Greenhouse Gas Reduction Efforts With Public
Health Benefits In Low-Income And Minority Communities. 
Expanding climate change mitigation approaches beyond greenhouse
gases to also target related pollutants would have enormous
public health benefits in the nation's most disadvantaged
communities, according to a report released today by E3 Network
and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. Posted. 


Businesses plead for changes to California's new cap-and-trade
market.  Heavyweight business groups are staging a last-ditch
protest against California's new cap-and-trade carbon market,
demanding changes to a program they've labeled a job killer. 
Manufacturers, oil refiners and others are lining up to testify
today before the California Air Resources Board, which will run
the carbon market.  Posted. 

4 countries discuss climate change in Brazil.  Representatives of
Brazil, South Africa, India and China are meeting to define a
common position ahead of November's United Nations' climate
change conference in Doha.  The four countries form the bloc
known as BASIC that acts jointly in international climate change
meetings.  Brazilian negotiator Luiz Alberto Figueiredo says one
of the main topics being discussed in the meeting that ends on
Friday is the future of the 1997 emission- limiting Kyoto
Protocol that requires industrialized countries to slash
emissions. Posted.

Top emitter China agrees to work with EU to cut carbon.  The
European Union and China have frequently clashed over climate
policy and Beijing has flouted EU law requiring all airlines
using European airports to pay for their emissions through the
EU's Emissions Trading Scheme ETS.L.  At the same time, the two
sides have maintained an uneasy dialogue, including an EU-China
summit in Brussels this week.  Posted.

EU U-turn spells doom for food-based biofuels boom.  Industry
sources and analysts predict the plan could trigger a wave of
plant closures across Europe while questioning whether so-called
advanced biofuels, often made from waste products, can play the
greater role now envisioned by the European Commission.  The
European Commission announced a major shift in biofuel policy on
Monday, saying it plans to limit crop-based biofuels to 5 percent
of transport fuel, after campaigners said existing rules take
food out of people's mouths. 

Ending Its Summer Melt, Arctic Sea Ice Sets a New Low That Leads
to Warnings. The drastic melting of Arctic sea ice has finally
ended for the year, scientists announced Wednesday, but not
before demolishing the previous record — and setting off new
warnings about the rapid pace of change in the region. The
apparent low point for 2012 was reached Sunday, according to the
National Snow and Ice Data Center, which said that sea ice that
day covered about 1.32 million square miles, or 24 percent, of
the surface of the Arctic Ocean. The previous low, set in 2007,
was 29 percent. Posted.

Businesses plead for changes to California's new cap-and-trade
market.  Heavyweight business groups are staging a last-ditch
protest against California's new cap-and-trade carbon market,
demanding changes to a program they've labeled a job killer. 
Manufacturers, oil refiners and others are lining up to testify
today before the California Air Resources Board, which will run
the carbon market.  Their goal: To get the Air Resources Board to
reduce the costs of participating in the market. The program is
set to begin Nov. 14, when the state agency will auction off
millions of carbon emission allowances.  Posted. 



Forests and Climate Change: a Combustible Combination.  Smokey
Bear’s advisories aside, wildfires are a normal part of forest
ecology. Fire serves to clear out old trees and excess underbrush
so younger trees can grow. You know, textbook “circle of life.”
But the cumulative list of manmade alterations to forests, to
land, and to climate is rendering the benefits of forest fires
all but moot in many places, as this Nature piece illustrates:
Across the American west, the area burned each year has increased
significantly over the past several decades (see ‘Bigger
blazes’), a trend that scientists attribute both to warming and
drying and to a century of wildfire suppression and other human
activities.  Posted. 


J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Medium-Duty Truck Fuel
Efficiency Improves While Principal Maintainers Are Skeptical of
Alternative Fuel Powertrains.  Although reported fuel economy and
quality improve for medium-duty trucks, the impact on
satisfaction with new engines meeting the 2010 EPA emission
regulations is negligible even as fuel prices rise, according to
the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Medium-Duty Truck
Customer Satisfaction StudySM released today. The study finds
that reported fuel economy for medium-duty trucks increases 12
percent in 2012, compared with 2011.  Posted.


Jordan says Iraq will boost oil exports to kingdom.  Jordan has
signed a deal with Iraq to increase oil exports and other
derivatives to the kingdom.  The state-run Petra New Agency says
Jordanian Energy Minister Alaa Batayneh and Iraq's Oil Minister
Abdul-Karim Elaib agreed during a meeting Thursday that Iraq will
initially increase daily exports of crude to its neighbor by
5,000 barrels. Jordan currently imports 10,000 oil barrels a day
from Iraq.  Posted. 

Inhofe, Pryor partner on bill to ease EPA rules.  U.S. Sens. Jim
Inhofe of Oklahoma and Mark Pryor of Arkansas are teaming up on
legislation to ease regulatory rules on fuel tanks for farmers. 
The two introduced a bill this week to amend the Environmental
Protection Agency's Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure
rule.  Posted. 


After 40,000 miles EVs break even with traditional fuel cars on
cost.  One year after the launch, data collected in the
Scotland’s largest electric vehicle project prove that electric
vehicles make perfect economic sense for short journeys.
Comparing the cost of using an EV and a traditional fuel-powered
car show that after 40,000 miles (64,373.8 km) an EV becomes a
cheaper option.  Five EVs involved in the project were monitored
closely and data was collected from every journey they made in 12
months. With the initial funding of £25,000 (€31,147) by SEStran
(the South East Scotland Transport Partnership) and additional
contribution by Midlothian Council, the project was launched in
August 2011 and the results after one year are very positive. 
Posted.  http://cars21.com/news/view/4947


Feds approve first leg of Calif. high-speed rail.  The Federal
Railroad Administration gave its approval Wednesday for
construction on the first phase of California's high-speed rail
system, clearing the final technical hurdle for construction to
start next year on a 65-mile span from Merced to Fresno.  The
decision supports the California High-Speed Rail Authority's
so-called hybrid alternative, which state officials say is the
least costly approach and the one that is least harmful to the
environment. Rail authority Chief Executive Officer Jeff Morales
said the federal decision will allow the project to break ground
next year.  "This is now a statewide rail modernization plan
which will not only deliver high-speed rail but also will invest
billions of dollars of improvements to local and regional rail
systems around the state immediately," Morales said.  Posted. 

Other related articles:



Tortoises Manhandled for Solar in Mojave Roils Environmentalists.
 It’s a 106-degree Fahrenheit day in the Mojave Desert. Heat
devils dance off chocolate-hued Clark Mountain on the horizon.
Air-conditioned cars zip along Interstate 15 toward Las Vegas.
And inside a chain-link pen covered to keep out predators are
scores of rare, threatened, sand-colored desert tortoises.  Their
captivity helps show how complicated it is to combat climate
change without collateral damage. The foot-long (30- centimeter)
creatures are being removed from their burrows for a project to
harvest solar energy in the California desert.  Posted. 

East Bay Solar Heating Company Green Air Heating & Air
Conditioning Splits into Comerford Solar.  Green Air Heating &
Air Conditioning has been known in East Bay for its green energy
solutions for heating and cooling both residential and commercial
venues. Based on its continuous growth, the East Bay solar
installation company is now spinning off its renewable energy
division, Comerford Solar.  "The split is mainly to give us the
ability to focus on each division individually, which allows us
to better serve our clients," Jason Reynolds of Comerford Solar
said.  Posted. 

Phoenix Transport (Japan) Ltd., Prepares for Uptick in Business
as Japan Accelerates Smart City Revitalization.  As mega-solar,
wind and other city-revitalization projects come on line, with
full initiation expected around April 2013, Phoenix Transport
(Japan) Ltd., Managing Director Martin Giles is preparing his
team for quick response. “Our company was privately owned for
about 25 years and thanks to the legacy of our Japanese owners
and our strong client base in Japan, we have the perfect
foundation to accept what we expect to be a significant inflow of
traffic over the next 8 months.   Posted. 

FORE Launches The First And Only LEED Gold Designed Apartment
Community In Owings Mills Area.  Fore Property Company (FORE) is
pleased to announce its latest creative development, Groveton
Green Apartments located in Owings Mills, Maryland.  This $35
million, 226-unit community combines contemporary luxury living
in an eco-friendly setting.  "At Groveton Green, we worked hard
to make it easy for you to love where you live," said Jim
Sullivan, Vice President of Fore Property Company. Posted. 

Carnegie Mellon Launches Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy
Innovation.  Carnegie Mellon University launched the Wilton E.
Scott Institute for Energy Innovation today, a major research and
education initiative focused on improving energy efficiency and
developing new, clean, affordable and sustainable energy sources.
The institute was made possible by a lead gift from CMU alumni
Sherman Scott (E'66), president and founder of Delmar Systems,
and his wife, Joyce Bowie Scott (A'65), a trustee of the
university.  The institute is named for Sherman's father, Wilton
E. Scott. Posted. 
Renewable Energy for Military Applications.  the largest single
consumer of energy in the world, the U.S. Department of Defense
(DOD) is one of the most important drivers for the cleantech
market today. The DOD has developed a comprehensive strategy to
reduce energy consumption, improve battlefield effectiveness,
increase energy security, and reduce costs. The Army, Navy, Air
Force, and Marine Corps are each implementing detailed plans to
achieve ambitious renewable energy and energy efficiency targets
that, in most cases, are likely to be achieved by 2025, including
3 gigawatts (GW) of renewable power generation at military
facilities, primarily via third-party financing.

Feds approve California high-speed rail construction.  The
federal government on Wednesday approved the start of
construction for California's $69 billion high-speed rail line,
capping years of planning on the first leg of tracks in the
Central Valley and likely kicking off a new round of lawsuits
from opponents.  The state has been eagerly awaiting the Federal
Railroad Administration's endorsement of the Merced-to-Fresno
section of the bullet train line since Gov. Jerry Brown and the
Legislature gave the go-ahead two months ago.  Posted. 


Viewpoints: Offsets for state's cap-and-trade plan need clarity
fast.  This November, with its economy struggling, California
plans to conduct its first auction of carbon permits as it
launches an ambitious cap-and-trade program as part of its AB 32
legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The program will
be the second largest program of its type in the world, behind
the European Union's, and the largest in the United States.  The
program creates a market where facilities that emit carbon
dioxide or other greenhouse gases like methane can buy and sell
credits that enable them to meet their obligations under AB 32's
"cap" on emissions.  Posted. 


Feds want public comments on EV Everywhere, lower-cost plug-in
vehicle project.  The cost of plug-in electric vehicles is right
up there with perceived loss of convenience as a stumbling block
for mass adoption of electric vehicles. To help figure out what
it will take to climb over the cost hurdle, the U.S. Dept. of
Energy would like to hear from you.  In March, President Obama
introduced the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, with the goal of
enabling, within 10 years, U.S. companies to produce plug-in
electric vehicles that are as affordable to families as other
cars on the market. And to be first in the world to do it. Public
comments on the EV Everywhere Initial Framing Document must be
received by October 29, 2012 at the latest.  Posted. 

Carnegie Endowment says more plug-in incentives are needed. 
While many GOP leaders bang the drum against government subsidies
for both makers and buyers of advanced-powertrain vehicles, the
Carnegie Endowment has just put out a new report that says more
federal and local incentives will be needed to ensure
electric-drive vehicle sales gain momentum.  As it stands,
plug-in vehicle battery costs will need to fall from about $700
per kilowatt hour to something like $325 in order for
battery-electric vehicles to become price-competitive with
conventional vehicles, the study said. The report also listed
about two-dozen U.S. "vanguard cities" for plug-in vehicle
progressiveness, including usual suspects San Francisco, Boston
and Austin, as well as cities like St. Louis, Atlanta and
Columbus, OH.  Posted. 

Infographic: California hydrogen fuel cell group lays out H2
vehicle roadmap.  If you're interested in learning more about the
future of fuel cell vehicles in the Golden State, the California
Fuel Cell Partnership would like to present you with a couple of
options: an infographic with facts and figures or a report called
"A California Road Map: The Commercialization of Hydrogen Fuel
Cell Vehicles" (which you can get either as an overview and
technical versions).  CaFCP's infographic has got more visual
appeal and is more likely to reach consumers than the white
papers.  Posted. 

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