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newsclips -- Newsclips for October 11, 2011.

Posted: 11 Oct 2011 12:33:48
California Air Resources Board News Clips for October 11, 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.


Environmental groups sue Obama saying decision to scrap stricter
smog limit was illegal. Washington — Environmental groups sued
the Obama administration Tuesday for scrapping a stricter limit
for smog-forming pollution, saying the decision violated the law
and put politics ahead of protecting public health. The lawsuit
filed in the federal appeals court in Washington by four
environmental and public health groups came after the White House
last month said it would not support setting a new standard for
ground-level ozone until 2013, outraging environmentalists.

Lawsuits Pour in Before Deadline to Challenge EPA's Cross-State
Air Pollution Rule.  The legal wrangling over new U.S. EPA rules
meant to curb interstate air pollution from power plants turned
into a full-blown melee late last week, with at least two dozen
power companies, cities, states and industry groups joining the
fray before Friday's deadline for court challenges.  There are
now more than 30 lawsuits asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the District of Columbia Circuit to block the Cross-State Air
Pollution Rule, which sets strict new limits on the nitrogen
oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) that cause soot and smog. 

Is the valley's air quality getting better or worse? First came
the good news from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control
District: August passed without a one-hour ozone violation, the
first time since such records have been kept. District officials
called the news "historic" and lauded residents for their role in
improving the air. But not everyone was so quick to pop open the
champagne. Posted.

Report: Mercury levels mostly down in Great Lakes.  A newly
released report says mercury levels in the Great Lakes region
generally have dropped over the past four decades, although
concentrations in some fish and bird species have increased more
recently.  The report was being released Tuesday at a news
conference in Detroit. It sums up the findings of 35 recently
completed scientific papers.  Posted. 

Open burning ban lifts in areas.  Effective 8 a.m. Wednesday, the
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection will lift
the suspension of burning on private lands within the
Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit. This includes Calaveras, Tuolumne and
those eastern portions of San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties
within the State Responsibility Area.  It also applies to lands
within the Direct Protection Area of the Stanislaus National
Forest. Posted. 

Auburn open burning period begins.  The city of Auburn is
allowing open burning starting Wednesday.  According to Auburn
Fire Chief Mark D’Ambrogi, the burn period will begin at 8 a.m.
Wednesday and close May 31. Residents must have a valid burn
permit and only burn on days designated by the California Air
Resources Board and Placer County Air Pollution Control District.

Homeowner response to the prenatal air pollution threat to
preterm birth. Medical data continues to link maternal exposure
to airborne polycyclie aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) during
pregnancy and harmful fetal effects.  An earlier article in this
column covered medical research linking maternal exposure to PAHs
and subsequent childhood IQ.  The study data was clear.  The
children exposed in the womb to high levels of PAHs had
significantly lower IQ scores when they turned 5. Posted.

Fighting Pollution to Slow Climate Change. Grant will allow
assistant professor to study how black carbon affects air quality
and public health. Riverside, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) -- A
University of California, Riverside assistant professor of
chemical and environmental engineering has received a $450,000
grant to study the impact of air-polluting black carbon particles
as a way to mitigate climate change. Posted.


Bank of America Merrill Lynch and TerraPass Enter Into Agreement
to Provide Carbon Offsets to California Emission Market.  Bank of
America Merrill Lynch today announced an innovative multi-million
carbon offset agreement with TerraPass Inc., a U.S.-based company
that brings to market verified carbon offsets and manages a
portfolio of carbon reduction projects across the country. All of
the offsets covered by the agreement are expected to be compliant
with the California Air Resources Board's approved standards. 

Global warming spurs debate over whether U.S. should build new
icebreakers.  Climate change is melting parts of the ice-locked
Northwest Passage. China is building its first modern icebreaker
in hopes of staking claims to Arctic waters. Frigid polar regions
are opening up to increased shipping traffic, scientific
exploration and tourism.  Yet the United States is so short of
icebreakers capable of navigating those still unpredictable
waters that since 2007, it has made the annual supply run to
McMurdo Station, the American research outpost in Antarctica,
with a ship leased from Sweden.  Posted. 


Filter problems ground 17 Humboldt school buses. Humboldt
education officials last week temporarily grounded 17 school
buses that were equipped with a diesel particulate filter that
the California Air Resources Board stated may experience a
catastrophic system failure. The air resources board on Sept. 26
recommended districts statewide ground any school buses that were
retrofitted with Cleaire Longmile filters, which capture the soot
and other particulate matter created by the bus's diesel engine.
Posted. http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_19086752


Booting hybrids from carpool lanes backfires. Berkeley -- Yanking
the carpool privileges of solo hybrid drivers this summer
backfired, adding congestion not only to regular freeway lanes
but feeding a chain reaction that slowed carpooling motorists as
well, UC Berkeley researchers said Monday. To all the frustrated
commute jockeys who cheered when solo Prius drivers were demoted
from the fast lane to the passed lane on July 1, the report by
the Institute of Transportation Studies may seem
counterintuitive, like punching the accelerator to slow down.


Area solar industry grows despite Solyndra failure. Despite the
high-profile collapse of Solyndra, the Bay Area's solar industry
continues to grow. Case in point: SunEdison, a worldwide
developer of large solar-power projects, is moving its
headquarters from Maryland to Belmont. Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday
joined the company at its new home, a formerly vacant office
building that will hold more than 400 people when the move is
complete. "We're the innovative state," Brown said at a news
conference packed with local dignitaries. Posted.

Top 6 High-Paying Environmental Jobs. There are two main types of
green jobs: those that produce goods or services that improve the
environment, and those that improve an existing business's
environmentally unfriendly practices. Such jobs might focus on
producing renewable energy, conserving resources, increasing
energy efficiency, alleviating pollution or increasing awareness
and compliance. Green jobs exist in hundreds of industries, from
farming to mining and telecommunications to transportation.

China solar panel maker restarts after cleanup.  Solar panel
maker Jinko Solar Holding Co. has resumed production following a
cleanup prompted by violent protests over pollution from one of
its factories in eastern China.  Jinko Solar stopped production
at its factory in Haining city, west of Shanghai, on Sept. 17
after hundreds of villagers staged protests, some storming the
facility and overturning vehicles.  Authorities said the factory
had failed to address earlier environmental complaints and that
the protests followed mass fish deaths in late August due to
runoff of flouride from heavy rains.  Posted. 

AP Newsbreak:

Brown supports solar business in wake of Solyndra.  California
Gov. Jerry Brown is vowing to continue investing in solar energy
in the wake of the recent Solyndra bankruptcy.  On Monday, Brown
attended the opening of the new headquarters of SunEdison, which
recently relocated to the San Francisco Bay area. It develops
solar power plants as well as commercial and residential
projects.  Posted. 

New Brentwood coalition stresses importance of being green.  Jim
Root recently noticed something obvious missing from Brentwood's
downtown revitalization efforts and environmentally friendly
Civic Center.  The Brentwood marketing consultant and fellow
members of the newly formed Green Living Coalition were surprised
that the city had not placed recycling cans in downtown
Brentwood. Getting recycling cans downtown quickly became the
first priority for this group of about 20 far East County
residents and business leaders who want to promote green living
practices and sustainability throughout the area, including
organic farming, emissions reductions, water management and home
efficiency.  Posted. 

Palm Springs urges cycling as part of green efforts. Palm Springs
is looking to make a dent in its greenhouse gas emissions by
getting people out of their cars and onto bikes or other
alternative transportation. The city will hold its annual Your
Sustainable City celebration Wednesday, with bicycling advocate
Dan Austin as keynote speaker. Austin is a filmmaker, author and
founder of 88bikes, a Seattle-based nonprofit organization that
provides bicycles for children in developing countries.Posted.

Calpine plans $700 million Geysers expansion. Would create 190
jobs and 98 megawatts of clean energy. The Geysers is the single
largest geothermal operation in the world, producing up to 725
megawatts of green energy around the clock -- enough electricity
to power the entire city of San Francisco. Sonoma County —
Calpine Corporation, the nation’s largest renewable geothermal
power producer, plans to build two new power plants adjacent to
its existing Geysers steam field…Posted.

Solar PV rapidly becoming the cheapest option to generate
electricity.  For a long time, the holy grail of solar
photovoltaics (PV) has been "grid parity," the point at which it
would be as cheap to generate one's own solar electricity as it
is to buy electricity from the grid. And that is indeed an
important market milestone, being achieved now in many places
around the world. But recently it has become clear that PV is set
to go beyond grid parity and become the cheapest way to generate
electricity.  Posted. 


Science and religion: A false divide. On most issues, there is
very little conflict between religion and science. Rick Perry has
generated a lot of ink lately — for trumpeting his religious
faith and for his attacks on evolution and global warming. I have
no magic insight into the mind of the candidate jockeying for the
GOP nomination, and I'm not a member of the religious right. But,
as a sociologist studying religion in the United States …Posted.


Kicking hybrids from carpool lanes slows everyone down. If you're
like many California motorists, you probably looked on with envy
or perhaps some stronger emotion when those single-occupant
hybrids zipped by in the carpool lane. Others who had gone to the
trouble of coordinating schedules and establishing real carpool
relationships probably weren't too happy with their solitary HOV
brethren either. Surely, fairness was restored over the summer
when the interlopers lost their HOV rights; the real carpoolers
have seen their speeds increase, right? Wrong. Posted.

Get your EVs running: First National Plug In Day is Oct. 16.
Electric-vehicle enthusiasts from New York to California will
wheel into the streets en masse Sunday as part of National Plug
In Day. Twenty-one cities, including Santa Monica, San Francisco,
Santa Cruz and Orange in California, will  hold electric car
parades and tailpipe-free tailgate parties to celebrate -- and
test drive --currently available plug-ins from Nissan, General
Motors, Tesla and SMART, and soon-to-be available models from
Mitsubishi, Toyota, Ford and Coda. Posted.

California's new B Corp law eyes social, environmental interplay.
California businesses soon will be able to set up shop as
so-called Benefit Corporations, or B Corps, under a new law
signed Sunday by Gov. Jerry Brown. AB 361 enables businesses to
pursue a "material positive impact on the environment and
community in addition to maximizing profits," according to a
statement from California Assemblyman Jared Huffman (D-San
Rafael), who authored the bill. Posted.

Conservatives scale up attack on green energy. Wasn’t that long
ago that George W. Bush declared that the nation was “addicted to
oil.” In his 2006 State of the Union address, Bush proposed a 22
percent increase in investment in basic research into clean
energy, including wind and solar: “Here we have a serious
problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from
unstable parts of the world. The best way to break this addiction
is through technology. Posted.

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