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newsclips -- Newsclips for August 24, 2011

Posted: 24 Aug 2011 12:49:28
California Air Resources Board News Clips for August 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 board asks drivers to cut trips to avoid fine. Fresno, Calif.
(AP) -- San Joaquin County officials are turning to local
residents to try to save the region from again being fined for
ozone pollution. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control
District has asked drivers to reduce trips and avoid idling
engines, as weather patterns create the possibility of another
air violation this week. Last year, the region became the
nation's first air basin to be fined for failing to meet the
federal deadline for reducing ozone pollution. Posted.

Hot weather has air officials on ozone alert. Valley warned of
potential health risks. The San Joaquin Valley has not been hit
with any one-hour violations of federal air quality standards so
far this year. That's the good news. The bad news? Valley air
pollution coupled with hot, stagnant air – like what's forecast
through the weekend – creates perfect conditions for dangerous
peaks in ozone levels, and the potential for a one-hour
violation. Air quality officials are urging Valley residents to
take precautions to avoid ozone spikes, which are not only
unhealthy but also costly. Posted.


Study probes climate change in Great Lakes cities. A new
University of Michigan project will help city leaders in the
Great Lakes region plan for dealing with climate change. The
Kresge Foundation is helping fund the $1.2 million project, which
will last three years. Organizers say much climate change
research has been done on global and national scales, but little
is known about its potential effects on the local level. Posted. 

More greenhouse gas rules set for Sutter hospital in Santa Rosa.
The list of environmental requirements that Sutter Health must
meet to build its planned $284 million hospital north of Santa
Rosa grew Tuesday. The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors
tentatively added a condition envisioned to help further offset
greenhouse gas emissions linked to the hospital's development and
operation. Posted.


Hertz to Begin Renting Electric Cars in China. Hong kong — In the
West, electric cars appeal to a do-it-yourself environmentalist
personality, one who believes in taking individual actions to
help address the collective problems of air pollution and global
warming. But when Hertz starts renting electric cars in China
later this week, it will offer the vehicles with chauffeurs — a
nod to China’s resistance to recognizing other nations’ driver’s
licenses or the International Driving Permit. Posted.

UCR: Key to cutting gas use might be drivers. Todd Muntz's car
can tell him when air pressure in the tires is running low, when
it's due for an oil change and even when the next turn he needs
to make is coming up.  "It's pretty amazing what they can do," he
said.  "My first car didn't even have shoulder belts," said
Muntz, 59, of Riverside. His next car might tell him what speed
to drive for current traffic conditions and which route he should
take to avoid idling and wasting gas. Posted. 

Opel/Vauxhall said to be considering hybrid partner. General
Motors Co.'s European unit Opel/Vauxhall is considering taking on
a partner in the field of fuel-saving hybrid powertrains in order
to share development costs, as the brand rolls out more
gasoline-electric cars. "Hybrid technology is becoming
increasingly more important. We are not holding any concrete
talks but a cooperation would be certainly a good way to cut
costs," Opel CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke told Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung today. Posted.


Ways To Reduce Emissions in Face of Bad Air Alerts Triggered by
High Temps, Increased Traffic. Temperatures throughout the San
Joaquin Valley today will range from the mid to upper ‘90s. I
remember when I lived along the Atlantic seaboard, temperatures
in the 90s were dreaded due to the oftentimes high humidity
associated with them. In California’s Central Valley, high
temperatures many times mean high ozone. According to information
in the Fresno Bee, “The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control
District issued [a bad-air] alert Monday to encourage residents
and businesses to help minimize smog-forming emissions.” Posted.

SAYED SADREDIN: Strategies to avoid another ozone fine, and clean
valley's air while we're at it. As many of you know, despite
significant improvements in our air quality, under an arcane
provision of federal law, valley residents and businesses are
subject to a penalty of approximately $29 million per year for
failing to meet the federal one-hour standard for ozone. In 1996,
the San Joaquin Valley air basin racked up 56 days where ozone
levels exceeded federal health-based standards for one-hour ozone
readings. Last year, there were only seven such days. If
anything, valley residents and businesses deserve a reward and
not a penalty. Posted. 

Public opinion on climate just tipped. One of the hallmarks of
tipping points is that you don't know when you're in one. There's
growing agreement that peak oil, for example, happened between
2004 and 2008. Still, you're never sure about such inflection
points until well after the fact. This week, though, sure feels
like the tipping point on public opinion on climate, and so I'm
going to stick a fork in it right here, folks. Posted. 


Taking Stock of Campus Sustainability. Colleges and universities
across the country have quickly taken to measuring their
environmental footprint: energy efficiency, consumption levels,
renewable energy targets, number of green buildings, recycling
rates, water use and even the prevalence of sustainability
curriculums. But in this rush to go green, two of the three
sustainability pillars have remained largely in shadow. Posted. 

A social movement to fight climate change? Dave Roberts writes
that a big problem in climate-change politics so far is that the
campaign has been “an extremely intellectualized, top-down sort
of undertaking, and as we saw with painful clarity during the
climate bill fiasco, an elite-driven strategy isn’t going to cut
it.” What environmentalists need, Roberts says, is the sort of
social movement that organized labor once wielded, and that
feminism and civil rights created. Posted. 

California asbestos deposits mapped. Asbestos is in our state
rock, and it's in more places than you might think. The U.S.
Geological Survey this week released a comprehensive map of all
the known places in California where asbestos is found, including
mines and exposed natural formations. Off-roaders in the Clear
Creek Management Area, in San Benito and Fresno counties, are all
too familiar with white asbestos in the form of the mineral
chrysotile. Posted.

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