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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for December 18, 2013 Posted: 18 Dec 2013 14:59:10
ARB Newsclips for December 18, 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 Hospital in southwest China opens smog clinic. A hospital in southwest China has opened a clinic for patients who are suffering symptoms related to smog, a doctor said Wednesday, highlighting how big a concern pollution has become for Chinese. The dedicated clinic at the Chengdu No. 7 People's Hospital has already treated more than 100 patients since opening last week. One public health expert suggested hospitals may follow suit to cash in on China's notorious smog. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_CHINA_POLLUTION?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/dec/18/chinese-hospital-opens-smog-treatment-clinic/ Draft pollution law seeks to tackle lethal European air. EU policymakers on Wednesday unveiled a draft law to tackle air pollution, which every year is linked to 400,000 premature deaths in Europe and costs of tens of billions of euros. The proposals include new limits on emissions from power plants and industry, as well as measures to make member states comply with existing rules on limiting pollutants associated with asthma, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/18/us-eu-air-idUSBRE9BH0DE20131218 Air pollution from burning coal hits Bosnian town. Authorities have ordered factories and homes to stop burning coal in a central Bosnian town where air pollution has reached alarming levels. Zenica is an industrial town that produces steel and where many homes are heated by burning coal. That sometimes leads to significant air pollution. Samir Lemes of the citizens association Eco Forum said the concentration of sulfur-dioxide in Zenica's air reached 1.400 micrograms per cubic meter…Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/dec/17/air-pollution-from-burning-coal-hits-bosnian-town/ Macedonia takes precautions against air pollution. Macedonia's government has imposed emergency measures in four cities, including Skopje, the capital, to address heavy air pollution caused by traffic and wood- and oil-burning heating systems. For the past six days, airborne particle concentrations in the cities have exceeded the highest permissible levels during freezing winter weather. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2013/12/17/3093674/macedonia-takes-precautions-against.html#storylink=cpy Sooty air over San Joaquin Valley triggers health warning. Dangerous soot levels continued Wednesday morning in the San Joaquin Valley with the highest readings in Fresno, Tulare, Kings and Kern counties. At 8 a.m., Visalia's monitor showed 130 parts of soot per cubic meter of air -- the threshold is 35 parts per cubic meter averaged over a full day. Fresno, Hanford and Bakersfield had readings higher than 100 parts per cubic meter. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/12/17/3671901/high-pressure-front-in-fresno.html#storylink=cpy Fires, air pollution combine for smelly, hazy day. The smoke may have been coming from far away but the South Bay did not escape the foul air from fires Tuesday. Many people in Santa Clara County had to see and smell the combined forces of the Sims Recycling center fire in Redwood City, the Big Sur fire and yet another Spare The Air day. In San Jose, Joanna Flood walked with a scarf around her nose and mouth. Posted. http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/health-med-fit-science/fires-air-pollution-combine-smelly-hazy-day/ncNfL/ CLIMATE CHANGE In Typhoon Area, Kerry Warns of Threats of a Warming Planet. After touring miles of roofless homes and shattered shantytowns destroyed by one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday announced that additional American humanitarian aid would be sent to the Philippines and described the giant typhoon as a warning of future extreme weather in a warming world. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/19/world/asia/typhoon-haiyan-philippines-aid.html California Prepares For Third Straight Dry Year. DWR says its principle concern is the plight of farmers who have to operate with much less water than they need for their crops. Bill Croyle, DWR’s new drought manager, says the lack of water will likely mean leaving land fallow and relying on transfers of water from areas where it’s available to places with a critical shortage. Posted. http://www.capradio.org/14883 Climate change: The warmest November worldwide since 1880. November was a hot month for planet Earth. Government scientists reported Tuesday that last month set a heat record. They say it was the warmest November on record, across Earth, since record-keeping began in 1880. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says average global temperature, for water and land surfaces combined…Posted. http://www.csmonitor.com/layout/set/r14/Environment/Latest-News-Wires/2013/1218/Climate-change-The-warmest-November-worldwide-since-1880 Georgetown Climate's Arroyo and Pacyniak discuss state recommendations on emissions standards. How can U.S. EPA craft its existing source rule for power plants to maximize flexibility for stakeholders? During today's OnPoint, Vicki Arroyo, executive director of the Georgetown Climate Center at Georgetown Law, and Gabe Pacyniak, an institute associate at the Georgetown Climate Center, discuss a letter sent to EPA this week by 15 states offering recommendations for the upcoming power plant rule. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/tv/videos/1761/transcript BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY A warming planet will soon produce scattered but more severe and lasting water shortages – study. Water shortages already put stress on people's lives in many countries today. Climate change due to unabated greenhouse gas emissions is likely to confront 40 percent more people with chronic water scarcity within a few decades. A group of scientists at research institutes worldwide drew this conclusion by using an unprecedented number of impact models. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059992044/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS U.S. lawmakers want hearing on natural gas methane emissions. Democratic lawmakers concerned about the growing U.S. reliance on natural gas for electricity on Tuesday called for a congressional hearing on emissions of methane - a potent greenhouse gas - from oil and gas production. Henry Waxman, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives' energy and commerce panel, and Bobby Rush, chairman of the House energy and power subcommittee…Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/17/usa-climate-methane-idUSL2N0JW1DS20131217 . EPA cites 62 Richmond violations by Chevron. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency notified Chevron on Tuesday that the company could face fines of $37,500 for every day it fails to rectify 62 regulatory violations the agency has identified since the smoky Richmond refinery fire last year. In a letter that marked the first step in fining Chevron for the Aug. 6, 2012 fire that sent 15,000 people to hospitals complaining of breathing problems…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/EPA-cites-62-Richmond-violations-by-Chevron-5072914.php HIGH-SPEED RAIL Fresno soil drilling prepares for high-speed rail construction. Geologists began drilling holes and collecting soil samples Tuesday in downtown Fresno in preparation for the first stages of construction on California's proposed high-speed train project. The first soil borings by Earth Mechanics Inc. took place along H Street, under the Stanislaus Street overpass that spans H Street, the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and G Street. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/12/17/3672421/soil-drilling-begins-in-fresno.html#storylink=cpy GREEN ENERGY Baucus proposal replaces dozens of energy breaks with credits for 'clean' fuel, electricity. The Senate's top tax writer unveiled a radical proposal today to eliminate dozens of deductions, credits and other incentives for the energy industry and replace them with two provisions designed to promote clean electricity and transportation fuels and another credit for carbon capture and sequestration. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059992076/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Algae converted to crude oil in less than an hour, energy department says. The day when planes, trucks and cars are commonly revved up on pond scum may be on the near horizon thanks to a technological advance that continuously turns a stream of concentrated algae into bio-crude oil. From green goo to crude takes less than an hour. The goo contains about 10 percent to 20 percent algae by weight. Posted. http://www.nbcnews.com/science/algae-converted-crude-oil-less-hour-energy-department-says-2D11762083 MISCELLANEOUS $1.1B California paint ruling may prompt new suits. Paint makers could face a surge of lawsuits after a California state court judge ordered three companies to pay $1.1 billion to help government agencies get rid of lead from an estimated 5 million homes in the state. The ruling, while preliminary, was a rare loss for an industry that had turned back some 50 lawsuits filed nationwide over the last 25 years by public agencies seeking billions of dollars to remove lead-based paint from homes…Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_LEAD_PAINT_COURT_BATTLE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.sacbee.com/2013/12/16/6006973/judge-paint-companies-to-pay-calif.html#storylink=cpy http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/1-1B-California-paint-ruling-may-prompt-new-suits-5070503.php Former DOE Secretary Chu joins board of carbon capture firm. Former Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who once called coal "my worst nightmare," is getting into the "clean coal" business by joining a carbon capture company's board of directors. Inventys Thermal Technologies of Vancouver, British Columbia, is promoting what it calls a novel and cheaper method of capturing carbon dioxide emissions from coal- and natural gas-fired power plants. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/greenwire/stories/1059992071/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY OPINIONS EDITORIAL: Put the brakes on ethanol racket. The nation needs a more sensible approach to energy and environmental issues than a heavy reliance on corn-based ethanol. Congress should end the mandate to mix corn ethanol into the nation’s fuel. A handout to the agriculture industry is not an acceptable substitute for thoughtful federal policies. Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., last week introduced a bill to eliminate the corn ethanol mandate. Posted. http://www.pe.com/opinion/editorials-headlines/20131217-editorial-put-the-brakes-on-ethanol-racket.ece BLOGS White House to get aggressive on climate change? Republicans are rightly outraged this morning because new White House counsel0r John Podesta compared the GOP to a “cult worthy of Jonestown” in an interview earlier this fall that Politico published today. Podesta has since apologized. Beyond this flap, there is some important news in the piece about Podesta: He agreed to the job on the condition that he be allowed to oversee an aggressive climate change agenda via executive action. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/12/18/white-house-to-get-aggressive-on-climate-change/ Signs of Baby Steps on Stanching Wasteful Flaring of Natural Gas. I hope you’ll read “Applying Creativity to a Byproduct of Oil Drilling in North Dakota,” a valuable Clifford Krauss feature on baby steps taken by the oil and gas industry to stanch the wasteful, polluting flaring of natural gas from the country’s booming Bakken oil fields in North Dakota. (There’s no infrastructure for storing or transporting the gas and the oil is the quarry, given its much higher price.) Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/18/baby-steps-on-stanching-u-s-flaring-of-natural-gas/?_r=0 AIR POLLUTION: Bad air again prompts burn ban. Regional air quality officials have issued a home fireplace burning ban for Wednesday, Dec. 18, in the Inland counties as well as Orange County and Los Angeles areas because of anticipated unhealthful levels of soot and other particle pollution. “It’s mostly because of the stagnant conditions we are having, particularly overnight,” said Sam Atwood, a South Coast Air Quality Management District spokesman. Posted. http://blog.pe.com/air-quality/2013/12/17/air-pollution-bad-air-again-prompts-burn-bad/ NYC mayor Bloomberg signs bill requiring 20% of all parking spaces to be EV 'charger ready'. At least it's not in any way difficult to find a parking spot in Manhattan. If it was, New York City's new plan to make at least 20 percent of the off-street parking throughout the five boroughs accessible to a plug-in vehicle charging station would be really onerous. Oh, wait. The largest city in the country is now mandating that owners of parking lots, parking garages and other off-street parking areas have enough electrical juice to supply a fifth of the spaces with charging stations.Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2013/12/17/nyc-mayor-bloomberg-signs-bill-requiring-20-of-all-parking-spac/ Toyota Prius named best value, Nissan Armada worst by Consumer Reports. Thinking about buying a Toyota Prius but can't figure if the initial purchase cost will be offset in the long run enough to make it a smart buy? Then you're probably reading these words on AutoblogGreen and not on Autoblog. But beyond that, Consumer Reports has some good news for you. For the second year in a row, CR has named the Prius the best value on the market. Posted. http://www.autoblog.com/2013/12/18/consumer-reports-best-value-toyota-prius-worst-value-nissan-armada/