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newsclips -- Newsclips for March 24, 2011. Posted: 24 Mar 2011 11:35:41
California Air Resources Board News Clips for March 24, 2011. 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 Head Of EPA Met With Protest In Central Calif. Fresno, Calif.—Environmental groups are urging the federal Environmental Protection Agency to better protect the health of residents in California's San Joaquin Valley, which is one the most polluted regions in the nation. With EPA administrator Lisa Jackson making her first trip to the state's farming regions, activists gathered in Fresno on Wednesday to protest her visit. Environmentalists are hoping Jackson will reconsider some of her agency's recent decisions, such as granting a draft permit to a proposed fossil fuel power plant near Kettleman City and exempting it from national air quality standards. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_17685255?nclick_check=1 Tipped By News Story, EPA Sues Mich. Utility Over Pollution As Part Of Broader Clean-Air Sweep. MONROE, Mich. – A Michigan utility spent $65 million last year replacing key parts at the state's largest coal-fired power plant. When regulators found out, they hauled the company into court for what it didn't do: Spend millions more at the same time to greatly eliminate air pollution. The fight with DTE Energy isn't an isolated one. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/tipped-by-news-story-epa-sues-mich-utility-over-pollution-as-part-of-broader-clean-air-sweep/2011/03/24/ABz57qMB_story.html http://www.modbee.com/2011/03/24/1613205/epa-pursues-michigans-largest.html http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/mar/24/epa-pursues-michigans-largest-coal-fired-plant/ http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/article_8dc9c1bf-7f40-59f0-bea5-804e5bac5f2c.html http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=134813317 Air Quality Testing At Oceano Dunes To Begin When The Rain Quits. As soon as the weather dries out, three weeks of testing and monitoring will begin at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area that may reveal a way to stop unhealthy amounts of sand particles from blowing onto the Nipomo Mesa. Larry Allen, county air pollution control officer, said at least five days without rain are needed to sufficiently dry out the sand at the park to begin testing. The most likely start date is April 11, he said. The testing will consist of placing devices that measure sand movement in various places in the park. Posted. http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2011/03/23/1533789/air-quality-testing-at-oceano.html Brown Will Take A ‘Fresh Look' At Methyl Iodide Decision. Sacramento — In his first public comments on the issue, Gov. Jerry Brown said today that his administration will take "a fresh look" at state pesticide regulators' controversial decision to permit the use of the soil fumigant methyl iodide in California, but he has "no immediate strategy" on how to proceed. His comments came a week after Department of Pesticide Regulation Director Mary-Ann Warmerdam, who issued the decision last year, announced her intention to resign, effective next week. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/mar/23/brown-will-take-a-145fresh-look-at-methyl-iodide/ EPA To Tell Congress Cutting Black Carbon Is A 'Win-Win'. There is strong evidence that soot from cars, cookstoves and factories is warming the planet as well as causing widespread health problems, making it an attractive way to tackle climate change, U.S. EPA scientists say in the first draft of a report due to Congress next month. So far, most efforts to slow global warming have been aimed at carbon dioxide, one of the long-lasting gases that can trap heat in the atmosphere. But the 386-page draft report, dated March 18, says lawmakers could also focus on "black carbon," an ingredient of the soot that is released into the air when wood and fuel are burned. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/03/24/11 EPA Science Advisers Repeat Call For Stricter Smog Standard. Several years after they first warned U.S. EPA that its current air pollution standards aren't strong enough to protect Americans from smog, the agency's scientific advisers are sticking to their guns. Yesterday, the members of the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) put the final touches on another letter urging EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to lower the nationwide limit on ground-level ozone, the main ingredient in smog. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/03/24/24 EPA To Phase Out Potent Refrigerant. U.S. EPA plans to ban the use of a potent heat-trapping chemical used in car air conditioners. The industrial refrigerant, HFC-134a -- which is a type of hydrofluorocarbon -- carries a carbon footprint 1,400 times greater than that of carbon dioxide. A coalition of environmental groups was pushing to make it illegal to use the substance, contending there are a host of more climate-friendly alternatives now available. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/03/24/7 Pimp My Riders. House Assault on Environment Unrelated to Reducing Deficit. This January, the newly-elected Republican majority of the House of Representatives voted to approve H.R. 1, described by the League of Conservation Voters as “the most anti-environmental piece of legislation in decades.” H.R. 1 is the “continuing resolution” budget bill that would precipitously cut $63 billion dollars of federal spending in a mere five months, primarily through deep cuts in domestic spending. Posted. http://www.independent.com/news/2011/mar/24/pimp-my-riders/ High Smog Levels Might Threaten Lung Transplant Success. Study found exposure doubled risk of rejection, death in patients. Exposure to high levels of traffic pollution doubles the risk of organ rejection and death in lung transplant patients, a new study suggests. Belgian researchers tracked the health of 281 lung transplant patients over a five-year period, and found that 117 (41 percent) developed a serious inflammatory condition called bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome. Posted. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/respiratory-disorders/articles/2011/03/24/high-smog-levels-might-threaten-lung-transplant-success CLIMATE CHANGE Judge's Ruling Puts Global Warming Law On Hold. Activists are celebrating a victory in their lawsuit against the state's Air Resources Board, halting the start of the landmark climate change law, at least momentarily. In San Francisco Superior Court last week, Judge Ernest Goldsmith ruled that the board violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by not fully evaluating alternatives to the cap-and-trade system, which is part of the 2006 law. Posted. http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/judges-ruling-puts-global-warming-law-hold-9395 Calif. Regulators Scramble In Wake Of Court Ruling On Emissions Law. California's climate change law is not in danger of outright reversal following a court decision this week that suspended it, but the deadline for approving a cap-and-trade carbon market later this year is in doubt, according to state government and legal experts following the process. If that deadline, which requires the state's Air Resources Board to vote on cap and trade in October, slips even one day into November, a ripple effect could delay greenhouse gas regulations set to go live on Jan. 1, 2012. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/03/24/1 VEHICLES Europeans Ahead Of U.S. On Diesel Cars. Question: Some years ago I traveled to England and saw many small, diesel-powered cars. I have read that most of the new cars sold in Europe are diesel. Considering that diesels get significantly better fuel mileage than gasoline-powered cars, why haven't the car manufacturers offered the diesel option over here? Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/mar/23/europeans-ahead-us-diesel-cars/ Volvo's Ethanol-Powered Electric Car. Volvo has always had an alternative image in the United States market, catering to a certain segment of the upper middle class and above that is attracted to its once-quirky, always safety-minded cars. But alternative fuels have never been a big part of the appeal. Posted. http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2011/03/24/volvos-ethanol-powered-electric-car/ Long-Term Nissan Leaf Update: Hey, Buddy, Can You Spare A Plug? In the first two weeks of conservatorship of the AutoWeek semi-long-term Nissan Leaf electric car, colleague Barry Winfield and I have put 287 miles on it. What does everybody want to know? The range. How far will it go on a charge? So far it has returned between 62 miles and 98 miles of range from its 24-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. Those are extrapolated figures, gleaned from taking the range achieved on a given mileage and comparing that with how far it would have gone had we driven at the same rate until we completely drained the battery. Posted. http://www.autoweek.com/article/20110324/GREEN/110329945 Production Of Hybrids, Electric Vehicles Hurt By Japan Disaster. As Japan continues to recover from its devastating earthquake and tsunami, the country's profitable automakers are still reeling from factory shutdowns that have cost the production of more than 300,000 vehicles. And analysts say the disaster may strike a longer-term blow to the fuel-saving hybrid and electric vehicles that Japanese companies produce. Toyota Motor Corp. yesterday announced it was delaying the Japanese launch of the Prius V, the larger version of its popular hybrid, and a second Prius model planned for next month. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2011/03/24/9 GREEN ENERGY The Towbes Group Installs Commercial Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at its Ralston Courtyards in Ventura. Ventura, CA – The Ralston Courtyards, has become one of the first residential communities in California to offer electric vehicle charging with the installation today of six commercial charging stations at its 108-unit luxury residential development in Ventura. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/mar/23/the-towbes-group-installs-commercial-electric-vehi/ Clean Energy Training Program In Southern Humboldt. Southern Humboldt youth between the ages of 18 and 24 have the opportunity for paid training and work experience in one of the fastest growing industries. The Clean Energy Program is a partnership with the County of Humboldt and College of the Redwoods. Eligible youth in our community will receive six exciting weeks of classroom and hands on training with industry professionals. Recruitment begins immediately and classes are scheduled to begin in late April. Posted. http://www.redwoodtimes.com/schools/ci_17682959 We’re No. 8! (Hey, Not Bad.) Sactown deserves gold stars for its green buildings. Earlier this month, the Environmental Protection Agency released its annual list of cities with the most Energy Star-labeled buildings. For the first time ever, Sacramento cracked the top 10, ranking No. 8 with 168 total Energy Star buildings. Posted. http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/content?oid=1942925 MISCELLANEOUS Be a Part of Earth Hour - the Largest Voluntary Action in History. During Earth Hour the lights go off at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Buckingham Palace in London, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and the Forbidden City in China. Will they be off at your house? Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/mar/23/be-a-part-of-earth-hour---the-largest-voluntary-ac/ Clean Air Topic Of San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District Video Contest. Students and teachers have a chance to help clean the air with 30-second videos promoting bicycle riding, car-pooling and other practices. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District is holding its third annual For Reel Video Contest for elementary through college entrants. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/03/23/1613034/clean-air-topic-of-video-contest.html Solano, Yolo County Residents Eligible For Mower Exchange Program. Gas-powered mowers can be turned in to purchase a zero emission, rechargeable mower at a reduced rate. Mowers for the Yolo-Solano Mower Exchange program are on display at Vacaville's City Hall, residents are encouraged to stop to see both models that are offered. Only residents of Solano and Yolo counties are eligible for this program which begins with online registration at 6 a.m. on April 5 at www.neutonpower.com/YS. Registering reserves a rechargeable mower, a voucher and provides instructions on how to turn in the gas-powered mower. Posted. http://www.thereporter.com/news/ci_17688601 OPINION It Could Happen Here. IT will be years before we know the full consequences of the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. But the public attention raised by the problems there provides an opportunity to rethink nuclear-power policy in the United States and the rest of the world — and reduce the dangers of a similar disaster happening elsewhere. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/24/opinion/24Von-Hippel.html?_r=1&scp=6&sq=air%20pollution&st=cse EDITORIAL: Obama Greens Turn Yellow. EPA blinks in the face of GOP challenge. Environmentalists are backpedaling in their long march toward deindustrialization. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has offered to delay some of its plans to regulate so-called greenhouse gases. Republicans in Congress shouldn't hesitate to press their advantage. The agency's advance faltered last week with the announcement that it was willing to put off for three years new rules requiring biomass-fired boilers to obtain permits to emit carbon dioxide. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/mar/23/obama-greens-turn-yellow/ BLOGS On Our Radar: Climate Questions Follow 2012 Presidential Contender. A video created by a Democratic state legislator in Minnesota captures Tim Pawlenty, the former Republican governor and a 2012 presidential candidate, repeatedly calling for a cap-and-trade program for carbon dioxide emissions to fight climate change. The video was aired during a hearing on a Republican bill to lift restrictions on coal-fired power plants. Mr. Pawlenty now describes his past support for cap-and-trade as “stupid.” [MinnPost]. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/23/on-our-radar-climate-questions-dog-2012-presidential-contender/ EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards: Cleaner Air AND Reliable Electricity. Last week the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed Clean Air Act mercury and air toxics standards to curb harmful emissions from the nation’s fleet of aging and dirty power plants fueled by coal and oil. The rule is part of a package of EPA rules that strive to make electricity generation a cleaner process, so that power plants do not continue to pollute the air and endanger people’s health. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/syeh/epas_mercury_and_air_toxics_st.html