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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 18-22, 2013.

Posted: 22 Jan 2013 15:23:37
ARB Newsclips for January 18-22, 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.


Mercury-Emissions Treaty Is Adopted After Years of Negotiations.
More than 140 nations adopted the first legally binding
international treaty on Saturday aimed at reducing mercury
emissions, after four years of negotiations on ways to set limits
on the use of a highly toxic metal. The treaty was adopted after
all-night negotiations that followed a week of talks in Geneva,
United Nations environmental officials and diplomats said.

Beijing to Scrap Old Cars and Swap Coal-Burners in Clean Air Bid.
Beijing’s acting mayor said the city will take 180,000 old
vehicles off the road and replace coal- burning heaters in 44,000
homes in a bid to cut air pollutants by 2 percent this year. The
capital will also promote clean-energy vehicles among government
departments, the public, street cleaners and trash collectors,
the Xinhua News Agency reported, citing top city official Wang
Anshun. He spoke at the opening of the municipality’s legislative
session. Posted.

Supreme Court won’t hear challenge to EPA rulemaking on sulfur
dioxide. The Supreme Court won’t hear a challenge to a tough new
clean air requirement limiting sulfur dioxide emissions. The high
court on Tuesday refused to hear an appeal from businesses and
industrial interests involving an Environmental Protection Agency
regulation setting emission levels of sulfur dioxide, a colorless
gas with the smell of rotting eggs. Sulfur dioxide from power
plant smokestacks can be carried long distances by wind and
weather and has been linked to various illnesses including
asthma. Posted. 


Despite a Whiff of Unpleasant Exaggeration, a City’s Pollution Is
Real. It has long been a given that the air pollution in this
city gets horrific: on average even worse than Beijing’s infamous
haze, by one measure. For nearly as long, there has been the
widespread belief by foreign troops and officials here that —
let’s be blunt here — feces are a part of the problem. Canadian
soldiers were even warned about it in predeployment briefings,
which cited reports that one test had found that as many as 30
percent of air samples contained fecal particles. Posted.

In China, Widening Discontent Among the Communist Party Faithful.
A widening discontent was evident this month in the
anticensorship street protests in the southern city of Guangzhou
and in the online outrage that exploded over an extraordinary
surge in air pollution in the north. Anger has also reached a
boil over fears concerning hazardous tap water and over a factory
spill of 39 tons of a toxic chemical in Shanxi Province that has
led to panic in nearby cities. Posted.

EPA proposes compromise on Navajo Generating Station's emissions.
Haze from the Arizona power plant can be seen at many Southwest
parks and wilderness areas. The EPA proposes giving it five extra
years to lower emissions, which could save tribal members' jobs.
The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing regulations to
reduce emissions from the massive Navajo Generating Station by as
much as 84%...Posted.

Spare the Air alert called for Friday for third day in a row. 
Wood fires will be banned in the Bay Area on Friday, the third
day in a row that a Spare the Air alert has been called due to
forecasts for unhealthy air quality.  Spare the Air alerts also
are possible for Saturday and Sunday, which would give the region
a record five consecutive winter days in a row with health
alerts, said officials at the Bay Area Air Quality Management
District.  Posted. 

How China's air pollution disaster is coming to America.  China's
air pollution disaster is coming to America. The pollution comes
from unprecedented levels of coal burning that has turned Beijing
into a crisis zone. The news stories have focused on China with
little attention to other areas, especially California.
Particulate matter can arrive within days because the western
U.S.is downwind of China. According to a Jan. 17 China Dialogue
article, researchers now realize that more than a few air
pollution violations in U.S. cities actually originated in Asia. 

Manganese plume in Hinkley draws new focus. Mention the community
of Hinkley and one might think of a chromium plume in the area.
That association might only be about half right. Get ready to add
a new one: Manganese plume.  Since November, San Francisco-based
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has been remediating a small manganese
plume north of the ground zero point of its internationally known
chromium 6 plume. Posted.

From activist to EPA: Tejada ready to "speak truth" about
environmental justice. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
is turning to a Houston activist to lead the fight against
environmental injustices around the country. Tejada will bring to
the job what he's learned battling severe pollution problems in
low-income communities near the Ship Channel, where air
pollutants spewed by oil refineries, chemical plants and the
shipping industry are linked to cancer and asthma. "We have the
largest challenges, the most diverse challenges, the largest
number of people that are suffering negative health

States, EPA Try to Tackle Interstate Air Pollution.  Interstate
air pollution has posed significant challenges for environmental
regulators for decades. Although some air pollutants only affect
air quality locally in the states where they are emitted, some
emissions cross state lines and affect downwind states. EPA's
latest effort to address interstate air pollution, the
Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR, often pronounced
"Casper"), was invalidated Aug. 21, 2012, by the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the District of Columbia. Posted. 

BREAKING NEWS: Governor responds to La Jolla Cove stench issue;
city plans to vacuum offending bird waste. The La Jolla Town
Council (LJTC) and La Jolla Village Merchants Association (LJVMA)
both began the year reviving discussion of the unsavory aroma
wafting from La Jolla Cove. Posted.


Obama wins praise abroad for climate change goals. U.S. President
Barack Obama won praise abroad on Tuesday for his pledge to lead
the fight against climate change, which has faltered as nations
argue over who should foot the bill to lower carbon emissions.
Two decades of summits and resolutions have not stopped mankind
pumping growing quantities of greenhouse gases into the
atmosphere, despite a wealth of evidence that it is causing more
frequent and devastating droughts, storms and floods. Posted.


http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2013/01/22/1 BY SUBSRIPTION

Every Tree Counts In Fighting Climate Change, Says Ecologist.
Arborists, local governments and volunteers have spent the last
year mapping San Diego County’s urban trees to calculate their
environmental and financial benefit. So far, the map shows
331,632 trees that have reduced an estimated 24.5 million pounds
of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Kelaine Ravdin, the urban
ecologist managing the “unofficial” tree counting effort… Posted.

 White House fixed on 17 percent greenhouse gas emission
reductions. President Obama may have entered a new term, but his
climate change control plans are all first-term goals. As late as
Monday, administration energy officials still were touting a plan
to cut greenhouse gas emissions nationwide by 17 percent of 2005
levels by 2020. What that 17 percent reduction level means, in
layman’s terms: Electricity costs will rise, in order that plants
can make the necessary technological advances in production
processes to comply with the limits. Posted.

AP Interview: UN chief wants action on climate.  U.N.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says his top hopes for 2013 are to
reach a new agreement on climate change and to urgently end the
increasingly deadly and divisive war in Syria.  The U.N. chief
told The Associated Press that he's also hoping for progress in
getting the global economy humming again, restarting
Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, promoting political
solutions in Mali, Congo and the Central African Republic, and
providing energy, food and water to all people.  Posted. 


Emissions standards chill truckers hauling cooled goods. Arthur
Parrino has spent half a century crisscrossing the United States
behind the wheel of a semi-trailer truck. His logbooks speak of
millions of miles of interstate hauls and short-distance work at
the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. But the 68-year-old
Parrino fears he might be reaching the end of the road. In 2008,
his three-rig operation shrank by two-thirds when the ports'
Clean Truck Program went into effect, barring older, heavy
polluting engines. Posted.

CARB Issues First Fine Under 2004 TRU Regs.  The San Bernardino
County Superior Court has fined Foster Enterprises, an
Ontario-based refrigerated transportation and cold storage
business, $300,000 after a California Air Resources Board
investigation revealed that the company failed to upgrade older
diesel engines in its refrigerated trailer fleet as required to
meet current emissions standards.  The case resulted in the first
court-imposed fine issued under CARB's 2004 Transport
Refrigeration Unit regulation. Posted. 


Diesel Output Increase May Boost Europe Gasoline Crack, JBC Says.
Diesel-making capacity in Europe has increased by 360,000 barrels
a day in the past five years even as crude refineries are halted,
a trend that may boost gasoline processing margins, according to
JBC Energy GmbH. The growth in hydrocrackers, a unit that mostly
produces middle distillates such as diesel and gasoil, coincided
with a 1 million barrel-a-day drop in European crude refining
capacity in the same period, the Vienna-based researcher said
today in a research note. Posted.

RFA urges CARB to revise carbon intensity values under the LCFS.
The Renewable Fuels Association is urging the California Air
Resources Board to revise indirect land use change (ILUC)
penalties assigned to certain biofuels under the state’s low
carbon fuel standard (LCFS). In a letter RFA President and CEO
Bob Dinneen sent to CARB Chairwoman Mary Nichols on Jan. 17, he
notes that more than two years have passed since CARB adopted a
resolution directing its staff to prepare amendments to revise
the carbon intensity values of several biofuels, including corn
ethanol, sugarcane ethanol and soy biodiesel. Posted.


Boeing's battery woes could short-circuit e-cars. The ongoing
investigation of faulty lithium-ion power packs on the new 787
Dreamliner could have implications far beyond the aerospace
industry, some observers worrying that Boeing’s battery problems
could short-circuit the nascent market for plug-ins, hybrids and
other electrified automobiles.
Investigators in the U.S. and Japan have put a spotlight on the
lithium backup power systems used on the new Boeing jet…Posted.


Amtrak, California team up on high-speed rail.  The two biggest
players in the nation's pursuit of high-speed rail said Thursday
they'll work together to search for trains that will operate at
up to 220 miles per hour along both coasts of the United States. 
Officials with Amtrak and the California High-Speed Rail
Authority said they envision that the two systems will purchase
about 60 trains over the next decade. The first order could take
place next year.  Posted. 

Other related articles:

California engineers question high-speed rail oversight. As
California prepares to embark on its largest public works project
in decades, a union that represents state engineers is
questioning whether all the construction work will be thoroughly
Contractors submitted bids this week to design and build the
first 30-mile stretch of track for the $68 billion high-speed
rail system, which eventually is designed to link Northern and
Southern California by trains traveling up to 220 mph. The
contract they sign is expected to be for up to $1.8 billion to
build the initial segment in the Central Valley. Posted. 


LEDs Emerge as a Popular ‘Green’ Lighting. The lighting industry
has finally come up with an energy-efficient replacement for the
standard incandescent bulb that people actually seem to like: the
LED bulb. Although priced at around 20 times more than the
old-fashioned incandescent, bulbs based on LEDs, or
light-emitting diodes, last much longer and use far less
electricity, a saving that homeowners are beginning to recognize.

Sunrise line delivering renewable energy. The Sunrise Powerlink
has begun delivering significant amounts of renewable energy to
San Diego from the first in a string of wind and solar plants
stretching into the Imperial Valley desert, San Diego Gas &
Electric announced. SDG&E completed construction of the 117-mile,
$1.8 billion transmission line in July. The first major jolts of
electricity arrived this month after a major wind power plant at
Ocotillo tied into the line. Posted. 


San Diego report measures quality of life. San Diego County’s air
quality, economy and renewable energy use showed improvement, but
there are shortfalls in the region’s water quality and
transportation systems, according to a new report. The Equinox
Center, a small nonpartisan think tank in Encinitas, on Thursday
released its fourth annual “Dashboard” report, which analyzed 14
benchmarks to compare San Diego County’s quality of life in 2011
with those of other communities, and with its own performance in
previous years. Posted.


MILLOY: China’s bad air puts the lie to EPA scare tactics. 
China’s notoriously bad air has recently been especially hard to
breathe. It also shows that the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency’s (EPA) science is especially hard to believe. A January
temperature inversion over China has caused the air to stagnate
and emissions of air pollutants to concentrate, especially over
urban areas like Beijing. The air is so bad that it has forced
the Chinese government to allow its media to agitate for
pollution controls. Posted.

The Climate Change Endgame. WHETHER in Davos or almost anywhere
else that leaders are discussing the world’s problems, they are
missing by far the biggest issue: the rapidly deteriorating
global environment and its ability to support civilization. The
situation is pretty much an endgame. Unless pressing issues of
the biology of the planet and of climate change generated by
greenhouse gas emissions are addressed with immediacy and at
appropriate scale, the matters that occupy Davos discussions will
be seen in retrospect as largely irrelevant. Posted. 

Lowering emissions, raising red flags. The Low Carbon Fuel
Standard was intended to reduce California carbon emissions, but
it may come with some terrible unintended consequences. We've all
seen the movie: Some small, seemingly unrelated actions lead to
dire and unintended consequences. It happens in real life too,
especially in government. The Low Carbon Fuel Standard, a
regulatory program established under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger,
was intended to reduce California carbon emissions, but it may
come with some terrible unintended consequences. Posted.

Letters: Go solar, DWP. Re "DWP will buy excess solar energy,"
Jan. 12. Well it's about time. But why should the L.A. Department
of Water and Power limit the amount of solar energy it will buy
from customers through 2016 to 100 megawatts? Why not buy all the
solar power available? Why can't residential customers sell all
the power they generate? Residential customers' meters should
simply run backward when they generate more power than they are
using, essentially selling it back at the same rate they pay.

Climate Change Is Here. How Companies Are Preparing For It.
Climate change has arrived. 2012 is in the books as the warmest
year on record, and extreme costly weather events are becoming
the norm rather than the exception.  Against this backdrop, the
debate is slowly migrating from partisan wrangling over the
existence of climate change to more productive efforts to think
creatively about how to prepare for it. My interest here is not
to make the case for climate change – many far more knowledgeable
than I have already done so…Posted.

Air Quality In China.  The ink on the paper with my predictions
for China was barely dry when what may become “the” story of 2013
came onto the scene—air quality. If I knew then what I know now,
I would have had to have included a discussion about air quality.
 In the run-up to the Beijing Olympics in 2008, particularly in
the three or four months before August, Beijing’s air quality was
in the news on a daily basis. While air pollution has remained a
nagging problem since then…Posted. 

Patrick Michael: Dialing back global warming apocalypse.  My
greener friends are increasingly troubled by the lack of a rise
in recent global surface temperatures. Using monthly data
measured as the departure from long-term averages, there's been
no significant warming trend since the fall of 1996. In other
words, we are now in our 17th year of flat temperatures.  Since
1900, the world has seen one other period of similar temperature
stagnation (actually a slight cooling) that lasted for 30 years
and ended around 1976. Posted. 


E.P.A. Extends Deadline for Navajo Plant’s Pollution Controls. In
a bid to clean up one of the nation’s dirtiest coal-fired power
plants without causing economic harm to the Navajo Nation that
surrounds it, the Environmental Protection Agency indicated on
Friday that it would give the plant’s owners five extra years,
until 2023, to install expensive state-of-the art emissions
reduction equipment. The agency expressed its willingness to
extend the deadline by releasing a proposed rule. Posted.

Taking a Harder Look at Fracking and Health.  A coalition of
academic researchers in the United States is preparing to shine a
rigorous scientific light on the polarized and often emotional
debate over whether using hydraulic fracturing to drill for
natural gas is hazardous to human health. Some five years after
the controversial combination of fracking and horizontal drilling
in the gas-rich Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania and surrounding
states got under way…Posted.

Beijing's Air Pollution Steps Get Poor Reception Among Some In
China's Capital.  New plans to reduce air pollution in Beijing
fell flat on Tuesday, judging by initial online reaction, as the
capital's mayor unveiled measures to ease the chronic problem
that has triggered growing public anger.  The smoggy metropolis'
already notorious air pollution hit a record earlier this month,
with pollution 30-45 times above recommended safety levels,
blanketing Beijing in a thick, noxious cloud that grounded
flights and forced people indoors.  Posted. 

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