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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for April 29, 2013 Posted: 29 Apr 2013 14:58:22
ARB Newsclips for April 29, 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. CAP AND TRADE State air board affirms cap-and-trade investment plan. California’s cap-and-trade system may have two pending lawsuits against it, but state officials are considering a plan to invest proceeds from carbon allowance auctions. The California Air Resources Board, which is responsible for implementing the cap and trade program, affirmed a three-year draft proposal for investing the proceeds at a public hearing Thursday. Posted. http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2013/04/26/state-air-board-affirms-cap-and-trade.html AIR POLLUTION Chevron refinery fire spurs SJVAPCD, ARB, and other state air agencies to action. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) today announced a new plan to develop better air monitoring and emergency response procedures around California's major oil refineries. Utilizing a collaborative approach between the state's major local air districts where refineries are located and the ARB, the new effort is a response to last year's major fire at Chevron's refinery in Richmond, CA. Posted. http://www.examiner.com/article/chevron-refinery-fire-spurs-sjvapcd-arb-and-other-state-air-agencies-to-action Valley air officials helping define best ways to monitor refinery accidents. Executives of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District plus the state’s other major local air districts where refineries are located are working with the California Air Resources Board on ways to better assess the status of air pollution around major oil refineries. There are three oil refineries in the Central Valley, all in Bakersfield near the massive Kern County oil fields. The first step in the evaluation is to assess the best practices and procedures used by local air districts and emergency response officials throughout the state. Posted. http://www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com/stories/001/?ID=23309 New study links childhood asthma to living near traffic. Another study has found a connection between childhood asthma rates and traffic pollution. The latest study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, looked at asthma levels in 10 European cities and found that people living near high-traffic roads accounted for 14 percent of all asthma cases. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/04/29/3278174/new-study-links-childhood-asthma.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy Planned warehouse complex would be major polluter. The World Logistics Center mega warehouse complex planned in eastern Moreno Valley would produce more air pollution than any other modern project east of the ports Los Angeles and Long Beach, regional air quality officials say. The cargo hub would provide warehouse space equivalent to 700 football fields. Trips from thousands of big-rig trucks and the operation of other cargo-moving machinery would produce more than 3,000 pounds a day of smog-forming nitrogen oxides…Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/topics/topics-environment-headlines/20130426-air-quality-moreno-valley-warehouse-complex-would-be-major-polluter.ece CLIMATE CHANGE Industrialized nations' greenhouse gas emissions dipped in 2011. Industrialized nations' greenhouse gas emissions dipped 0.7 percent in 2011, helped by a U.S. shift from high-polluting coal in power plants and by Europe's economic slowdown, data compiled by Reuters showed on Friday. For many years it has been a mantra that rich nations, historically the top polluters, should make the biggest cuts in emissions while emerging economies could burn more energy to help lift them from poverty. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/26/us-climate-emissions-idUSBRE93P0HZ20130426 Plants slow climate change by forming cloud sunshade: study. Plants help to slow climate change by emitting gases as temperatures rise that lead to the formation of a sunshade of clouds over the planet, scientists said on Sunday. The tiny sun-dimming effect could offset about one percent of warming worldwide and up to 30 percent locally such as over vast northern forests in Siberia, Canada or the Nordic nations, they wrote in the journal Nature Geoscience. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/28/us-climate-plants-idUSBRE93R0AA20130428 DIESEL EMISSIONS CARB offers how-to class for California emissions regs. It may not earn you a degree you can hang on the wall, but the California Air Resources Board is offering a free class to help truck owners comply with California’s ever-changing emissions regulations. CARB has begun a new round of the three-hour class 520 “How to Comply with CARB Diesel Regulations.” The course reviews the inspection process, gives consequences of non-compliance, and explains how to comply with CARB’s regulations for most diesel vehicles and equipment operating in California. Posted. http://www.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryID=25108 FUELS EPA methane report further divides fracking camps. The Environmental Protection Agency has dramatically lowered its estimate of how much of a potent heat-trapping gas leaks during natural gas production, in a shift with major implications for a debate that has divided environmentalists: Does the recent boom in fracking help or hurt the fight against climate change? Oil and gas drilling companies had pushed for the change…Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_GAS_DRILLING_METHANE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.sacbee.com/2013/04/28/5378266/epa-methane-report-further-divides.html#storylink=cpy http://www.sfgate.com/news/texas/article/EPA-methane-report-further-divides-fracking-camps-4470310.php http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/04/28/3277397/epa-methane-report-further-divides.html#storylink=misearch http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/epa-report-that-lowers-methane-leak-estimates-further-divides-fracking-camps/2013/04/28/a72ed128-b01e-11e2-9fb1-62de9581c946_story.html http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/apr/28/epa-methane-report-further-divides-fracking/#ixzz2RrujOQSv The EPA Just Shook Up the Debate Over Fracking. New estimates from the EPA indicate that methane leakage from natural gas production is substantially lower than previously believed. Or, translated to English: Natural gas may be a better solution to rampant global warming than anyone believed. The recent boom in natural gas production — largely a function of improvements in the process of hydrofracturing, or fracking — has been seen as a mixed blessing by environmentalists focused on curbing the atmospheric warming created by greenhouse gases. Posted. http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/04/epa-just-shook-debate-over-fracking/64678/ News Summary: EPA lowers methane leak estimate. THE CHANGE: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently dramatically lowered its estimates of how much of a potent greenhouse gas leaks during gas drilling operations, from 214 million metric tons for 2010 to 144 million metric tons, a change of more than 30 percent. THE DISPUTE: There's a split between leading environmental groups over whether the boom in natural gas drilling, or fracking, will help or hurt efforts to fight climate change. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/04/28/5378271/news-summary-epa-lowers-methane.html#storylink=cpy http://www.sfgate.com/news/texas/article/News-Summary-EPA-lowers-methane-leak-estimate-4470314.php There's a lot more than farming going on in California's vast Central Valley. The Valley may be the richest farm belt in the world, but from Kern to Stanislaus counties it's also Ground Zero for the debate over "fracking" Nearly a dozen new pieces of legislation are under study in the Capitol to place stricter environmental controls on "fracking," or high-pressure hydraulic fracturing, in which streams of water, sand and chemicals are shot into underground rock formations to pry loose petroleum deposits. a process that has been used for decades. Posted. http://www.capitolweekly.net/article.php?xid=11dwy1ythgnpbcc&utm_source=feedly# VEHICLES Electric vehicles provide electricity to the U.S. power grid. U.S. power company NRG Energy Inc. said on Friday a technology it developed with the University of Delaware has sold power from electric vehicles to the power grid for the first time. The University and NRG said in a statement that they began work on the so-called eV2g program in September 2011 to provide a two-way interface between electric vehicles and the power grid that enables vehicle owners to sell electricity back to the grid while they are charging their cars. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/26/utilities-nrg-electricvehicles-idUSL2N0DD2K120130426 Tesla Model S Tops GM Volt in North American Plug-In Race. Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), the luxury battery-car company run by billionaire Elon Musk, is North America’s rechargeable auto sales leader so far this year as its Model S sedan passed General Motors Co. (GM)’s Chevrolet Volt. Tesla expects to report at least 4,750 deliveries of the electric Model S in the U.S. and Canada when it releases first- quarter results on May 8, said Shanna Hendriks, a company spokeswoman, reiterating a March 31 estimate. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-26/tesla-model-s-tops-gm-volt-in-n-american-plug-in-race.html Dispelling myths of electric cars. The troubles of electric-car-maker Fisker Automotive have fueled another round of debate about whether plug-ins can live up to their promises. The California start-up, which had already halted production and laid off most of its employees, missed a federal loan payment Monday and told a congressional hearing on Wednesday that it may not be able to avoid bankruptcy. Posted. http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20130428/WIRE/130429690/0/SEARCH Ford's in-wheel electric motors could lead to sideways parking. Talk about a lateral move. Ford is developing a new electric car technology that is not just efficient with fuel, but potentially space, as well. Designed in partnership with auto industry supplier Schaeffler, the eWheelDrive Fiesta prototype is propelled by electric motors located entirely within the wheels of the car, eliminating the need for the drive wheels to be connected to a common drivetrain. The main advantage of the layout is packaging. Posted. http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2013/04/29/ford-in-wheel-electric-motors-could-lead-to-sideways-parking/#ixzz2RsAzofC7 States make up for reduced gas consumption with new tax on Hybrids. John Kraus has a new Toyota Prius V hybrid wagon that he's very fond of. He's also got a new Virginia tax on it that he's none too happy about. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, signed a new law last month that lowers the gas tax for everyone, but slaps a $64-per-year fee on hybrid and electric car owners to help make up for what those drivers aren't paying at the pump. Posted. http://www.news10.net/news/national/243195/5/New-tax-on-Hybrids-curbs-cost-saving-enthusiasm Consortium sells power from electric cars to grid and turns profit. Correction appended. If not for the orange power cords trailing from their sides, the 15 Mini Coopers lined up in the northwest corner of the University of Delaware's science and technology campus might have been a scene from a BMW dealership. No other outward clues hinted that in their stationary form, these cars were driving a new business. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/04/29/1 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Electric car maker offers no-fault battery warranty for its luxury sedan. Tesla Motors Inc. wants to take all uncertainty out of owning one of its electric vehicles with a new high-quality service and warranty program. CEO Elon Musk announced Friday that the company will now offer a no-fault battery warranty for its Model S luxury electric sedan. If the battery is left for a long time at a low state of charge or receives improper maintenance and fails, Tesla will replace it with a battery pack that's as good or better. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/04/29/8 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY GREEN ENERGY Sacramento plans solar-powered 'smart' parking meters. Seven years after introducing parking kiosks downtown, Sacramento officials say it's time for an even more expansive upgrade of downtown parking – starting with solar-powered parking meters that drivers can pay via cellphone. The plan to purchase and install nearly 6,000 "smart" meters later this year is part of an ambitious effort to catch up with fast-evolving parking technology…Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/04/29/5379130/sacramento-plans-solar-powered.html#mi_rss=Our%20Region?utm_source=feedly#storylink=cpy Slowing rush to invest in clean tech could hurt major Sacramento area industry. Sacramento's leaders are counting on clean technology – the business of solar and wind energy, "smart" buildings and more – to help lift the region out of the economic doldrums. Investors have become more skeptical. They're pouring less money into clean-tech ventures these days following some spectacular flops. One of the nation's most influential investors – Sacramento's own California Public Employees' Retirement System – calls clean-tech flat-out unprofitable. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/04/28/5375425/slowing-rush-to-invest-in-clean.html#storylink=cpy Nuclear authority generates controversy. Virginia is creating a new agency to support development of nuclear power - a move that has upset environmentalists and open-government advocates, because the entity won't have to comply with the state's Freedom of Information Act and other laws. For the past year or so, companies that work with nuclear energy have been speaking with experts at Virginia universities with nuclear engineering programs and at industry-related nonprofit groups. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/04/28/5378029/nuclear-authority-generates-controversy.html#storylink=cpy MISCELLANEOUS Kaiser Roseville takes environmental honor. Kaiser Permanente's Roseville Medical Center is one of only three U.S. facilities named to the "Environmental Leadership Circle" by Practice Greenhealth, a national organization that promotes green practices in health care. The leadership circle is considered the highest honor among the Reston, Va.-based group's 2013 Environmental Excellence Awards. To qualify, health facilities must meet high standards in various segments, including waste recycling, medical waste management and eradication of mercury use. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/04/27/5375821/kaiser-roseville-takes-environmental.html#storylink=cpy Tips for greener living during Earth Month. Many people will argue that the greatest barrier to living a greener lifestyle - one that involves more organic or environmentally friendly food or home and personal care products - is the prohibitive cost. Experts acknowledge that manufacturers and consumers do pay more for natural products, but they hope, as the market shifts toward more nontoxic alternatives, prices will become more affordable. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/04/29/3278162/tips-for-greener-living-during.html#storylink=misearch Fremont teen wins green awards, on mission to help the environment. For as long as he can remember, Pavan Raj Gowda has understood the critical danger of living on a polluted planet and the importance of nursing it back to health. "When I was really little, I would see garbage on the highway and wonder why it was there," the Fremont 13-year-old said. "I've always been passionate about the planet. I'm not sure why." Pavan has been on a mission to educate people about pollution and his efforts now have been noticed. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/breaking-news/ci_23117726/fremont-teen-wins-green-awards-mission-help-environment?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com OPINIONS Pollution reports can guide improvements. San Joaquin County has again flunked a test of its air quality despite an acknowledgment by those administering it that we are "making progress every year." The American Lung Association's annual "State of the Air" report gave the county, lumped in with south Valley counties with dirtier air, a grade of "F." That grade, by the way, is the most common one given by the association, leaving some to question the validity of the rather narrowly drawn test. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130429/A_OPINION01/304290301&cid=sitesearch BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Can we stop climate change? As a farmer in the San Joaquin Valley, the article "Climate change threatens wineries, study shows" (April 12, Page A-1) struck a chord with me. I have no doubt that climate change is happening. What I do doubt is whether we have the political will and collective courage to take decisive action in the face of uncertainty. Farmers are used to variability in weather, crop yields, prices, labor availability, you name it. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2013/04/28/2691259/can-we-stop-climate-change.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy BY SUBSCRIPTION Catch my drift? Locals believe clouds of pesticides made them ill, but the accused are all saying there's The Arreola family smelled something bad, like rotten eggs. Since they lived in Santa Maria’s St. Marie Mobile Home Park near strawberry and broccoli fields—literally feet away, in fact—they worried about chemicals, like pesticides, being applied to fruits and vegetables growing so close to their home. They noticed odd smells at odd times. Alejandra Arreola later told investigators that her family suffered from irritated eyes, sore throats, headaches, nausea, runny noses, and other respiratory issues after the smells materialized. Posted. http://www.santamariasun.com/news/9673/catch-my-drift/ BLOGS An Earth Scientist Explores the Biggest Climate Threat: Fear. Here’s a “Your Dot” contribution pushing back against apocalyptic depictions of the collision between humans and the climate system — written by Peter B. Kelemen, the Arthur D. Storke Professor and vice chair in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. Keleman has done a lot of interesting work on possible ways to capture carbon dioxide from air. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/27/an-earth-scientist-explores-the-biggest-climate-threat-fear/ Now you can track the inexorable progress of climate change on Twitter. In 1958, Charles Keeling began measuring the the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Decades later, scientists at the Mauna Loa Observatory are still measuring, creating “the world’s longest unbroken record” of that data. They’re the ones responsible for the upkeep of this famous graph…Posted. http://grist.org/list/now-you-can-track-the-inexorable-progress-of-climate-change-on-twitter/ Air Pollution Lurks Inside Your Home. How would you like a job that involves shopping at the grocery store with the company credit card and cooking dishes like stir-fry? This describes Tosh Hotchi’s job, but he isn’t a chef. He is part of a research team that studies how to build healthy, efficient homes, including how to improve the quality of air inside a home through better ventilation. Hotchi is helping to study a major source of indoor pollutant: cooking. Posted. http://science.kqed.org/quest/2013/04/29/air-pollution-lurks-inside-your-home/ Why California’s Cap and Trade Program Matters to Community Health Advocates. Several years ago, I worked as a community advocate in the South Bronx. I partnered with community members, agencies, and local elected officials to push for bike lanes, sidewalks, parks and open space in a community that had suffered from years of disinvestment, poor health and environmental injustices. Neighborhood residents wanted clean air to breathe; parents were calling for safe places for their children to play and be active…Posted. http://www.preventioninstitute.org/ca-blog/1012-why-californias-cap-and-trade-program-matters-to-community-health-advocates.html