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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for April 8, 2013 Posted: 08 Apr 2013 13:48:41
ARB Newsclips for April 8, 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 Home depot to pay $8 million settlement. The Home Depot will pay $8 million to settle allegations that the retail giant sold thousands of gallons of paint, primers and sealers containing excessive levels of air pollutants to customers in Riverside County and across Southern California, authorities announced. The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office and district attorneys in Orange and San Bernardino counties, sued The Home Depot in 2011. A similar action was filed by the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/apr/07/tp-home-depot-to-pay-8-million-settlement/ San Diego County overcomes air quality challenge. Pollution emitted into the air and blowing in the wind no longer is so high the county locals always need relief. Supervisor Ron Roberts told the public during an announcement downtown on Wednesday, April 3rd, after years fighting pollution, the county finally lowered the ozone and particulate matter levels below the 1997 Federal 8-Hour Ozone Standard. "We have the cleanest air we have had in the 50 years the Air Pollution Control District has been here," Roberts said. The county leads the nation in the effect on air quality produced by work on air quality control. Posted. http://www.examiner.com/article/san-diego-county-overcomes-air-quality-challenge End in sight for marathon pollution trial in NH. Jurors in the longest state trial in New Hampshire's history will return to the courtroom this week after a nearly two-week hiatus to hear closing arguments in the state's groundwater contamination case against Exxon Mobil Corp. Lawyers for the state want jurors to hold Exxon Mobil liable to the tune of $240 million to monitor and clean up wells and public water systems contaminated by the gasoline additive MTBE, or methyl tertiary butyl ether. Lawyers for Exxon Mobil counter that MTBE was used to comply with federal Clean Air Act requirements to reduce smog. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/apr/07/end-in-sight-for-marathon-pollution-trial-in-nh/#ixzz2Pt1SjvNC Air travel to get bumpier as CO2 emissions rise, scientists say. Turbulence on transatlantic flights will become more frequent and severe by 2050 as carbon dioxide emissions rise, leading to longer journey times and increased fuel consumption, British scientists said in a study on Monday. Any air traveller has probably experienced turbulence. It can happen without warning and is caused by climate conditions such as atmospheric pressure, jet streams, cold and warm fronts or thunderstorms. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/08/climate-airlines-turbulence-idUSL5N0CQ3CA20130408 First proof that air pollution affects coral growth revealed (Video). A team of climate scientists and coral ecologists from the United Kingdom, Australia, and Panama, is the first to definitely prove that air pollution stunts coral growth in the April 7, 2013, issue of the journal Nature Geoscience. The team lead by Lester Kwiatkowski, a doctoral student in Mathematics at the University of Exeter, and colleagues used a combination of records retrieved from within the coral skeletons, observations from ships, climate model simulations, and statistical modeling to examine coral growth rates in the Caribbean in the twentieth century. Posted. http://www.examiner.com/article/first-proof-that-air-pollution-affects-coral-growth-revealed Air Quality Warnings Issued For Parts of San Luis Obispo County. Very windy conditions are prompting air quality warnings in some coastal areas. Aeron Arlin Genet of the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District, or APCD, says, "they blow the dust and the sand off the Oceano Dunes. And that gets lofted into the air." Arlin Genet is all too familiar with poor air quality conditions stemming from the Oceano Dunes. The APCD monitors the air quality in the county and even provides air quality forecasts using special devices that are set up at various sites. Posted. http://www.kcoy.com/story/21894681/air-quality-warnings-issued-for-parts-of-san-luis-obispo-county CLIMATE CHANGE Federal appeals court to hear climate change suit. A federal three-judge panel has agreed to review a lower court's ruling that a group of Mississippi coastal landowners can sue energy and chemical companies on allegations that linked greenhouse gas emissions to Hurricane Katrina. The lawsuit alleges that greenhouse gas emissions from energy and chemical companies contributed to global warming, caused sea levels to rise and added to the intensity of Hurricane Katrina. Filed by landowners in U.S. District Court in Gulfport in September 2005, the lawsuit had been dismissed in 2007 and reinstated in 2009. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Federal-appeals-court-to-hear-climate-change-suit-4416924.php Antarctic team digs deep to predict climate future. Nancy Bertler and her team took a freezer to the coldest place on Earth, endured weeks of primitive living and risked spending the winter in Antarctic darkness, to go get ice - ice that records our climate's past and could point to its future. They drilled out hundreds of ice cores, each slightly longer and wider than a baseball bat, from the half-mile-thick ice covering Antarctica's Roosevelt Island. The cores, which may total 150,000 years of snowfall, almost didn't survive the boat ride to New Zealand because of a power outage. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/apr/06/antarctic-team-digs-deep-to-predict-climate/#ixzz2Pt2bzIBw Oceans may explain slowdown in climate change: study. Climate change could get worse quickly if huge amounts of extra heat absorbed by the oceans are released back into the air, scientists said after unveiling new research showing that oceans have helped mitigate the effects of warming since 2000. Heat-trapping gases are being emitted into the atmosphere faster than ever, and the 10 hottest years since records began have all taken place since 1998. But the rate at which the earth's surface is heating up has slowed somewhat since 2000, causing scientists to search for an explanation for the pause. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/07/us-climate-oceans-idUSBRE93608420130407 FUELS Fracking coalition upsets both greens and drillers. Like a marriage the in-laws don't approve of, a new plan to strengthen standards for fracking is creating unusual divisions among environmentalists and supporters of the oil and gas industry. At first glance, it's hard to fathom all the angst over the Pittsburgh-based Center for Sustainable Shale Development. Environmental groups, foundations, and major oil and gas companies came together to support stringent measures to protect air and water from pollution in the Appalachian region, and they invited other groups to join in and help limit pollution from fracking. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_GAS_DRILLING_UNLIKELY_PARTNERS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.contracostatimes.com/nation-world/ci_22974327/fracking-coalition-upsets-both-greens-and-drillers http://www.insidebayarea.com/news/ci_22974327/fracking-coalition-upsets-both-greens-and-drillers http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/04/07/3247355/fracking-coalition-upsets-both.html#storylink=misearch http://www.scpr.org/blogs/environment/2013/04/05/13191/aqmd-approves-rule-requiring-disclosure-of-frackin/ Southern California air regulators adopt fracking rules. In the absence of statewide regulations for hydraulic fracturing, Southern California air-quality officials have enacted their own reporting rules for the controversial extraction process driving the country's oil and gas boom. On Friday, the governing board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District adopted a rule that requires oil companies to notify the air agency 10 days to 24 hours before beginning drilling operations, including "fracking," which involves injecting large volumes of chemical-laced water and sand deep into the ground to break apart rock and release oil. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/political/la-me-pc-southern-california-air-regulators-adopt-fracking-rules-20130405,0,7462664.story VEHICLES Here's why real-world mpg doesn't match EPA ratings. Has this happened to you? You go shopping for a new car and great fuel economy is high on the list of things you want. You buy a car that's rated 30 mpg on the highway and 28 mpg overall by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But after a month or so of driving around, you find that the best fuel efficiency you can get is a measly 24 mpg average. You might acknowledge that you drive a little faster than the speed limit, but you're no hot-rodder. Posted. http://autos.yahoo.com/news/here-s-why-real-world-mpg-doesn-t-match-epa-ratings-175746134.html GREEN ENERGY NY moves toward adopting wind, other green energy. A new study says New York could get the power it needs from wind, water and sunlight by 2030 with a concerted push, though the state's decade-long effort to significantly boost green energy shows how challenging that could be. The study, led by researchers from Stanford and Cornell universities, provides a theoretical road map to how New Yorkers could rely on renewable energy within 17 years. It would require massive investments in wind turbines, solar panels and more from the windy shores off Long Island to sun-exposed rooftops upstate. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/apr/07/ny-moves-toward-adopting-wind-other-green-energy/#ixzz2Pt3TyiFt OPINION Schwarzenegger: California's silent disaster. I will always remember the day I woke to the news that more than 2,000 fires were burning in California. I thought I must not have heard correctly. Two thousand fires? How could that be? In the end, the state's brave firefighters, joined by contingents from out of state, won the battle. But not before 11 emergency declarations were issued and more than 400,000 acres burned. Countless lives and livelihoods were ruined. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-0408-schwarzenegger-climate-report-20130408,0,6026654.story Clear the tracks for new port rail yard. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are a powerful economic engine for Southern California. They produce more jobs than the entire movie business, and they connect the United States to ports across the Pacific Ocean. The hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of goods that pass through them are an essential source of economic livelihood, and yet at times the ports impose a burden on those who live closest to them, forcing policymakers to weigh what is best for the nation and the region against what harm it might do to neighbors. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-ports-20130408,0,5401694.story Why We Support a Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax. Americans like to compete on a level playing field. All the players should have an equal opportunity to win based on their competitive merits, not on some artificial imbalance that gives someone or some group a special advantage. We think this idea should be applied to energy producers. They all should bear the full costs of the use of the energy they provide. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323611604578396401965799658.html?KEYWORDS=air+pollution BLOGS Air Pollution Tied to Birth Defects. Exposure in the first two months of pregnancy to air pollution from traffic sharply increases the risk for birth defects, a new study has found. Researchers used data from two large studies carried out in eight counties in the San Joaquin Valley in California. One has tracked birth defects since 1997, and the other has recorded concentrations of nitrogen dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter at 20 locations in the valley since the 1970s. The results are posted online in The American Journal of Epidemiology. Posted. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/08/air-pollution-tied-to-birth-defects/ U.S. Moves Toward Teaching Climate Change; Britain Does the Opposite. New science teaching standards in the United States will include extensive lessons on human-made climate change. Expected to be unveiled this week, the guidelines will bring the subject to classrooms in up to 40 states, in many cases for the first time. Eighth-grade pupils should understand that “human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming),” according to the Next Generation Science Standards. Posted. http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/08/u-s-moves-toward-teaching-climate-change-britain-does-the-opposite/ Fear of global warming on the rise. Americans’ fear of global warming is on the rise, though they still aren’t as concerned as they were before the 2008 financial collapse. A new Gallup poll shows 58 percent of Americans are concerned a great deal or a fair amount about global warming. That’s up from 51 percent in 2011 but down from 66 percent in 2008 and the record high of 72 percent in 2000. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/04/08/fear-of-global-warming-on-the-rise/ 200,000 Plug-In Electric Vehicles Equipped With Vehicle-to-Building Technology Will Be Sold Through 2020. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, nearly 200,000 PEVs equipped with vehicle-to-building (V2B) technology will be sold from 2012 through 2020. With V2B technology – which makes the energy stored in plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) batteries available to commercial and residential buildings – vehicles can compete with both traditional local generation and stationary storage for offsetting demand charges or providing peak saving services. Posted. http://www.hybridcars.com/200000-plug-in-electric-vehicles-equipped-with-vehicle-to-building-technology-will-be-sold-through-2020/ CO2 regulations – Are they strict enough? Fuel economy standards are at the top of the agenda in the US and Europe. However, it seems that most manufacturers have already outperformed 2015 targets, which means that 2020 or 2025 objectives are “easy” targets, especially in view of the fact that automakers have managed to obtain key concessions such as CO2 credits in the US or supercredits and eco innovations in Europe. According to a report from the US EPA published in March 2013, Toyota and Honda have earned so many credits in the US that their current fleets, unchanged, could meet EPA requirements through to the 2016 model year, said David Friedman, a senior engineer at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Posted. http://www.cars21.com/news/view/5335 For Cleveland, climate change could mean tons of toxic green algae. A vast plain of poisonous green slime stretching to the horizon, bobbing gently on the waves — that was the view of Lake Erie from Cleveland just a couple years ago. It could become a permanent feature if humans don’t scramble to do something about it. Take a closer look at the boxed-in area in the above image (larger version), captured by NASA’s Aqua satellite in October 2011…Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/for-cleveland-climate-change-could-mean-tons-of-toxic-green-algae/ Frackers lose $1.5 billion yearly thanks to leaky pipes. Of all the many and varied consequences of fracking (water contamination, injured workers, earthquakes, the list goes on) one of the least understood is so-called “fugitive” methane emissions. Methane is the primary ingredient of natural gas, and it escapes into the atmosphere at every stage of production: at wells, in processing plants, and in pipes on its way to your house. According to a new study [PDF], it could become one of the worst climate impacts of the fracking boom — and yet, it’s one of the easiest to tackle right away. Best of all, fixing the leaks is good for the bottom line. Posted. http://grist.org/climate-energy/frackers-lose-1-5-billion-yearly-thanks-to-leaky-pipes/