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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 17, 2013. Posted: 17 Jan 2013 14:09:44
ARB Newsclips for January 17, 2013. ARB Newsclips for January 17, 2013 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 Beijing's toxic smog was years in the making, had many sources. Chinese leaders dazzled the world by clearing the skies as if by edict before the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008. Fast forward to January 2013, and the government seems powerless against those same skies, tarnished by an opaque, toxic cloud that has smothered the city for nearly a week. The number-two leader in the country's Communist Party hierarchy, Li Keqiang, appealed this week for Beijing's 20 million residents to show patience during what he said would be a "long-term" clean-up. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/17/us-china-pollution-sources-idUSBRE90G00V20130117 EPA: Mid-Atlantic air pollution down in 2011. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says releases of toxic air pollutants were down in 2011 in the Mid-Atlantic. And the federal agency says cleaner power plants are part of the reason. The EPA says releases were down 13.8 percent in 2011 in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia compared to 2010. Nationwide, total toxic air releases dropped 8 percent from 2010. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/EPA-Mid-Atlantic-air-pollution-down-in-2011-4199616.php Season's sixth Spare the Air alert issued for Thursday. Wood-burning fires will be banned in the Bay Area for the second consecutive day Thursday, marking the sixth Spare the Air alert of the winter season, officials said. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District forecasts unhealthy levels of smoke and other fine particulates on Thursday because stagnant air will trap pollutants near the ground. While an alert is in progress, it is illegal for residents and businesses to use their fireplaces, woodstoves and inserts, pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits, or any other wood-burning devices. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/breaking-news/ci_22387358/seasons-sixth-spare-air-alert-issued-thursday?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/breaking-news/ci_22387358/seasons-sixth-spare-air-alert-issued-thursday?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com Mexico City bike riders protest air quality. Two men and two women rode topless down Mexico City's main boulevard Wednesday to protest the health effects of the city's ongoing pollution problem and encourage residents to use bicycles instead of cars.The cyclists had painted their bodies with the outlines of diseased lungs and other internal organs they say are affected by car-caused pollution. The protest was sponsored by children's and bicycle rights groups. The city has made progress since the mid-1990s, when air quality was unacceptable almost every day of the year. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jan/16/mexico-city-bike-riders-protest-air-quality/ County Air Pollution Officials Host Meeting on Air Quality in the Nipomo Mesa. San Luis Obispo County Air officials held a public meeting on Wednesday night to talk about air quality levels in the Nipomo Mesa. The Air Pollution Control District released the results of an air quality study at Mesa Middle School in Arroyo Grande, to show how far dust can travel from the Oceano Dunes to the Nipomo Mesa. Posted. http://www.kcoy.com/story/20609297/county-air-pollution-officials-host-meeting-on-air-quality-in-the-nipomo-mesa Soot is the second-most dangerous global warming pollutant. When the EPA announced stricter limits on soot emissions last year, the health benefits were immediately apparent. Less soot — that is, tiny particles that result from burning fossil fuels — means fewer heart attacks, less asthma, longer lifespans. On this basis alone, the new standard is a beneficial move. As it turns out, the move could also play a significant role in countering global warming. Posted. http://grist.org/news/soot-is-the-second-most-dangerous-global-warming-pollutant/ CLIMATE CHANGE COLUMN-EU carbon capture needs emissions limit: Wynn. The European Union will have to introduce mandatory standards to limit power plant emissions, given a failure to introduce carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology plus rising coal consumption and the construction of new coal power plants. A market-based approach to limit coal emissions through CCS has failed. The Commission had hoped to motivate the building of CCS pilot plants mostly through its emissions trading scheme. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/17/column-wynn-coal-ccs-idUSL6N0AL3NY20130117 Disaster response must be quicker, more flexible to handle growing climate uncertainty. In a world marked by increasingly irregular weather systems, the United States will need to adopt a more flexible approach to disaster management, according to panelists at the 13th National Conference on Science, Policy and the Environment. "Our uncertainty about what the future holds is increasing," said Amy Luers, director of climate change at the Skoll Global Threats Fund. "That's a really hard message to communicate to the public." Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2013/01/17/4 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DIESEL EMISSIONS Inspection of Diesel Trucks For Pollution. In the parking lot of the Sears building at 12th and Soto St., representatives from the California Air Resources Board and Highway Patrol carry out inspections of diesel trucks to ensure compliance with state laws regarding air pollution while in Los Angeles and surrounding areas. Posted. www.laopinion.com (pdf. Attachment) FUELS Lawsuit could force costly delay in new gas furnace standards. The wait for more fuel-efficient gas furnaces just got longer. The Department of Energy has moved to withdraw a new rule that would require consumers in 30 northern states to buy 90-percent-efficient furnaces starting May 1. The rule would have saved 81 million to 130 million metric tons of carbon dioxide between 2013 and 2045, according to DOE estimates, as consumers upgraded their furnaces from 80 percent efficiency to 90 percent efficiency systems. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/01/17/3 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY HIGH-SPEED RAIL High-speed rail critic Jeff Denham to chair House railroad panel. High-speed rail skeptics gained new traction Wednesday with the promotion of Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, to chairmanship of the House panel that oversees railroads. A sharp critic of California's ambitious high-speed rail plan, Denham can use his post to challenge one of the Obama administration's top public works priorities. Future rail legislation must pass through Denham's subcommittee, which can also hold hearings to shed potentially unflattering light on specific projects like California's. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/01/16/3135965/high-speed-rail-critic-jeff-denham.html#storylink=cpy Amtrak, Calif. officials team up in search for fast trains. In a move likely to draw opposition from key House Republicans, Amtrak and California transportation officials today announced plans to jointly look for high-speed train systems currently in production that are capable of traveling up to 220 miles per hour. Joseph Boardman, Amtrak's top executive, and Jeff Morales, chief executive of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, said their partnership would ensure high-speed systems eventually become a reality on the West Coast and along Amtrak's busy Northeast corridor. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/01/17/5 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY Army's largest solar array dedicated in New Mexico. The U.S. Army dedicated its largest solar energy-producing system on Wednesday at White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico.The $16.8 million array includes nearly 15,500 sun-tracking solar panels spread across 42 acres. It will be capable of producing 10 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year - enough to meet about 10 percent of the need of the missile range.With abundant sunshine, New Mexico made an ideal site for the project, said Garrison Commander Col. Leo Pullar, one of the officials who attended the ceremony. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2013/01/16/2535271/militarys-largest-solar-array.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy MISCELLANEOUS Living Smart: Mold testing and remediation. Few states have enacted guidelines that prohibit companies from performing both mold testing and mold remediation. In fact, in most states, the same company that inspects and tests for mold can also be the same company that does the remediation. That poses the potential for a huge conflict of interest. "The more stuff a (mold remediation) contractor finds wrong, the more he gets paid," said Tom Alford, a Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant and certified Mold Remediation Supervisor with Enviropro in St. Louis who only does inspection and testing for mold, not remediation. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/01/17/v-print/5121054/living-smart-mold-testing-and.html Debate over pivotal environmental law heats up as lawmakers plan overhaul. Battle lines are being drawn in California over a legislative push to overhaul a key state environmental law. At issue is the 1970 California Environmental Quality Act's required "environmental impact reports" for any development project that needs state or local approval -- reviews blamed by the law's critics for permitting delays and increased building costs. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/01/17/6 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY OPINIONS Kevin O'Leary: Warming not a partisan issue – it's physics. As Southern California shivers in record low temperatures, extreme weather ravages the globe. Australia melts in another summer of blistering heat and fires, Britain endures near-biblical rains and floods, China freezes in its bitterest winter in 30 years and snow blankets Jerusalem. Climate change is not just about heat; it's about more frequent and intense weather gyrations. In the United States, 2012 was the hottest year in recorded history with the farm belt drought, killer tornados and Superstorm Sandy costing tens of billions of dollars. Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/climate-383666-fuels-fossil.html BLOGS On the Non-equivalence of Greenhouse Gases and Entitlement Spending. One fairly common trope in budget discussions – I’m pretty sure I’ve done it myself, somewhere along the line – is to compare attitudes toward fiscal issues and those toward environmental issues. The usual version, which I must have used, is to compare attitudes toward the long run: pointing out how strange it is that many people profess to be deeply concerned about the state of the Social Security trust fund in the year 2037, while being apparently indifferent to the state of the climate around the same time, which is all too likely to involve things like a permanent drought in the southwest and so on. Posted. http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/on-the-non-equivalence-of-greenhouse-gases-and-entitlement-spending/ Environmental group pushes for hearing on San Onofre restart. The environmental group Friends of the Earth made its case to federal regulators Wednesday that Southern California Edison should be barred from restarting the San Onofre nuclear plant unless it goes through a trial-like hearing process. The meeting Wednesday between Friends of the Earth and a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission review board was the latest step in a dispute that has been going on for more than six months. Posted. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2013/01/san-onofre-design-changes.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+lanowblog+%28L.A.+Now%29 CA Congressman's new post another roadblock for high speed rail? U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was on Capitol Hill today to reassure Californians that high speed rail is one of President Obama's highest priorities. It's not necessarily the top priority on Capitol Hill. Republican Congressman Jeff Denham of Fresno has been one of the most vocal critics of California's high speed rail project. In 2012, he introduced an amendment to the transportation bill that would have forbidden a dime to be spent on the project. Posted. http://www.scpr.org/blogs/politics/2013/01/16/12046/denhams-new-post-another-roadblock-high-speed-rail/ Air Pollution in China Should be a Catalyst for Air Pollution Action. While many Beijing residents have long voiced concern and discontent over air pollution levels, it took possibly the worst air pollution in recent history to get the government to acknowledge the problem. On Saturday, January 12, air pollution levels in Beijing broke records: PM 2.5 – the fine particles that gets lodged in the lungs — spiked to 886 while the Air Quality Index (AQI) climbed to 755. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/bfinamore/air_pollution_in_china_should.html