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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for September 20, 2012 Posted: 20 Sep 2012 12:12:17
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 UL AQS Achieves Accreditation for Indoor Air Quality Emissions Testing to the Newest Blue Angel Standard for Electronic Imaging Devices. UL Air Quality Sciences, Inc. (UL AQS), a pioneer and provider of product emissions testing, announced today that it has earned approval as the only U.S. commercial laboratory to provide laboratory testing for the Blue Angel Program's newest standard for printers, copiers and multifunctional peripherals, RAL-UZ-171. Recently updated, the new 171 standard calls for more stringent reporting of individual VOCs as well as evaluation of ultrafine particle emissions from these electronics during operation. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/20/4838144/ul-aqs-achieves-accreditation.html#storylink=misearch Air board hoses down San Lorenzo Valley's backyard burns: Strict limits go in place immediately. Moving firmly to clear the layer of smoke that often hangs over the San Lorenzo Valley during cooler months, a regional air quality agency on Wednesday voted without dissent to enact tough new controls on backyard burns. The rules prohibit burning yard waste on properties smaller than an acre, and would require one of a limited number of permits for burns on larger parcels. Officials expect the regulations, which go into effect immediately, to curtail outdoor fires at least 75 percent. "Our neighbors are killing us with this smoke," pleaded Rod Jensen, a valley resident who spoke in favor of the rules at a meeting of the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District in Monterey. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_21586771/air-board-hoses-down-valleys-backyard-burns-strict UL Reminds Parents To Look For UL's Greenguard Certification Mark When Choosing Nursery Products For Their Home. In recognition of Baby Safety Month, UL (Underwriters Laboratories), a world leader in advancing safety science, is reminding all parents to safeguard their children's health by focusing on the indoor air quality (IAQ) of their homes. It may surprise parents to learn that indoor air can be five times more polluted than outdoor air, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which also reports that the average person receives 72 percent of his or her chemical exposure at home. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/20/4838101/ul-reminds-parents-to-look-for.html#storylink=misearch SC Johnson Honored with Clean Air Excellence Award for Long-Standing Environmental Commitment. SC Johnson announced today that it has received a 2012 Clean Air Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The annual award recognizes and honors outstanding innovative efforts to help make progress in achieving cleaner air. "SC Johnson has long been committed to doing the right thing for both people and the planet. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/20/4837965/sc-johnson-honored-with-clean.html#storylink=misearch New Research Links Greenhouse Gas Reduction Efforts With Public Health Benefits In Low-Income And Minority Communities. Expanding climate change mitigation approaches beyond greenhouse gases to also target related pollutants would have enormous public health benefits in the nation's most disadvantaged communities, according to a report released today by E3 Network and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/20/4837950/new-research-links-greenhouse.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy CLIMATE CHANGE Businesses plead for changes to California's new cap-and-trade market. Heavyweight business groups are staging a last-ditch protest against California's new cap-and-trade carbon market, demanding changes to a program they've labeled a job killer. Manufacturers, oil refiners and others are lining up to testify today before the California Air Resources Board, which will run the carbon market. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/20/4836719/businesses-plead-for-changes-to.html#mi_rss=Business 4 countries discuss climate change in Brazil. Representatives of Brazil, South Africa, India and China are meeting to define a common position ahead of November's United Nations' climate change conference in Doha. The four countries form the bloc known as BASIC that acts jointly in international climate change meetings. Brazilian negotiator Luiz Alberto Figueiredo says one of the main topics being discussed in the meeting that ends on Friday is the future of the 1997 emission- limiting Kyoto Protocol that requires industrialized countries to slash emissions. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/20/4838693/4-countries-discuss-climate-change.html#storylink=misearch Top emitter China agrees to work with EU to cut carbon. The European Union and China have frequently clashed over climate policy and Beijing has flouted EU law requiring all airlines using European airports to pay for their emissions through the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme ETS.L. At the same time, the two sides have maintained an uneasy dialogue, including an EU-China summit in Brussels this week. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/20/uk-eu-china-carbon-idUSLNE88J00P20120920 http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/20/column-wynn-nuclear-ccs-idUSL5E8KK36220120920 EU U-turn spells doom for food-based biofuels boom. Industry sources and analysts predict the plan could trigger a wave of plant closures across Europe while questioning whether so-called advanced biofuels, often made from waste products, can play the greater role now envisioned by the European Commission. The European Commission announced a major shift in biofuel policy on Monday, saying it plans to limit crop-based biofuels to 5 percent of transport fuel, after campaigners said existing rules take food out of people's mouths. Posted.http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/20/us-biofuels-europe-idUSBRE88J0R820120920 Ending Its Summer Melt, Arctic Sea Ice Sets a New Low That Leads to Warnings. The drastic melting of Arctic sea ice has finally ended for the year, scientists announced Wednesday, but not before demolishing the previous record — and setting off new warnings about the rapid pace of change in the region. The apparent low point for 2012 was reached Sunday, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, which said that sea ice that day covered about 1.32 million square miles, or 24 percent, of the surface of the Arctic Ocean. The previous low, set in 2007, was 29 percent. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/20/science/earth/arctic-sea-ice-stops-melting-but-new-record-low-is-set.html?_r=1&ref=earth Businesses plead for changes to California's new cap-and-trade market. Heavyweight business groups are staging a last-ditch protest against California's new cap-and-trade carbon market, demanding changes to a program they've labeled a job killer. Manufacturers, oil refiners and others are lining up to testify today before the California Air Resources Board, which will run the carbon market. Their goal: To get the Air Resources Board to reduce the costs of participating in the market. The program is set to begin Nov. 14, when the state agency will auction off millions of carbon emission allowances. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/20/4836719/businesses-plead-for-changes-to.html http://www.modbee.com/2012/09/19/2380211/business-groups-plan-protest-over.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/09/20/2999375/business-groups-set-to-blast-calif.html#storylink=misearch http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_21590242/business-groups-set-blast-calif-carbon-market?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_21590242/business-groups-set-blast-calif-carbon-market?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com Forests and Climate Change: a Combustible Combination. Smokey Bear’s advisories aside, wildfires are a normal part of forest ecology. Fire serves to clear out old trees and excess underbrush so younger trees can grow. You know, textbook “circle of life.” But the cumulative list of manmade alterations to forests, to land, and to climate is rendering the benefits of forest fires all but moot in many places, as this Nature piece illustrates: Across the American west, the area burned each year has increased significantly over the past several decades (see ‘Bigger blazes’), a trend that scientists attribute both to warming and drying and to a century of wildfire suppression and other human activities. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnmcquaid/2012/09/20/forests-and-climate-change-a-combustible-combination/ DIESEL EMISSIONS J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Medium-Duty Truck Fuel Efficiency Improves While Principal Maintainers Are Skeptical of Alternative Fuel Powertrains. Although reported fuel economy and quality improve for medium-duty trucks, the impact on satisfaction with new engines meeting the 2010 EPA emission regulations is negligible even as fuel prices rise, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Medium-Duty Truck Customer Satisfaction StudySM released today. The study finds that reported fuel economy for medium-duty trucks increases 12 percent in 2012, compared with 2011. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/20/4838657/jd-power-and-associates-reports.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy FUELS Jordan says Iraq will boost oil exports to kingdom. Jordan has signed a deal with Iraq to increase oil exports and other derivatives to the kingdom. The state-run Petra New Agency says Jordanian Energy Minister Alaa Batayneh and Iraq's Oil Minister Abdul-Karim Elaib agreed during a meeting Thursday that Iraq will initially increase daily exports of crude to its neighbor by 5,000 barrels. Jordan currently imports 10,000 oil barrels a day from Iraq. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Jordan-says-Iraq-will-boost-oil-exports-to-kingdom-3880702.php Inhofe, Pryor partner on bill to ease EPA rules. U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma and Mark Pryor of Arkansas are teaming up on legislation to ease regulatory rules on fuel tanks for farmers. The two introduced a bill this week to amend the Environmental Protection Agency's Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure rule. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Inhofe-Pryor-partner-on-bill-to-ease-EPA-rules-3880639.php VEHICLES After 40,000 miles EVs break even with traditional fuel cars on cost. One year after the launch, data collected in the Scotland’s largest electric vehicle project prove that electric vehicles make perfect economic sense for short journeys. Comparing the cost of using an EV and a traditional fuel-powered car show that after 40,000 miles (64,373.8 km) an EV becomes a cheaper option. Five EVs involved in the project were monitored closely and data was collected from every journey they made in 12 months. With the initial funding of £25,000 (€31,147) by SEStran (the South East Scotland Transport Partnership) and additional contribution by Midlothian Council, the project was launched in August 2011 and the results after one year are very positive. Posted. http://cars21.com/news/view/4947 HIGH-SPEED RAIL Feds approve first leg of Calif. high-speed rail. The Federal Railroad Administration gave its approval Wednesday for construction on the first phase of California's high-speed rail system, clearing the final technical hurdle for construction to start next year on a 65-mile span from Merced to Fresno. The decision supports the California High-Speed Rail Authority's so-called hybrid alternative, which state officials say is the least costly approach and the one that is least harmful to the environment. Rail authority Chief Executive Officer Jeff Morales said the federal decision will allow the project to break ground next year. "This is now a statewide rail modernization plan which will not only deliver high-speed rail but also will invest billions of dollars of improvements to local and regional rail systems around the state immediately," Morales said. Posted. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5heRvyJqLRz1WKyv8V0B5IbE_xBgA?docId=c7611c9a9d3042e2894b8a69770095ee Other related articles: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/20/usa-california-rail-idUSL1E8KK07920120920 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/19/california-high-speed-rai_n_1898611.html GREEN ENERGY Tortoises Manhandled for Solar in Mojave Roils Environmentalists. It’s a 106-degree Fahrenheit day in the Mojave Desert. Heat devils dance off chocolate-hued Clark Mountain on the horizon. Air-conditioned cars zip along Interstate 15 toward Las Vegas. And inside a chain-link pen covered to keep out predators are scores of rare, threatened, sand-colored desert tortoises. Their captivity helps show how complicated it is to combat climate change without collateral damage. The foot-long (30- centimeter) creatures are being removed from their burrows for a project to harvest solar energy in the California desert. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Tortoises-Manhandled-for-Solar-in-Mojave-Roils-3880323.php East Bay Solar Heating Company Green Air Heating & Air Conditioning Splits into Comerford Solar. Green Air Heating & Air Conditioning has been known in East Bay for its green energy solutions for heating and cooling both residential and commercial venues. Based on its continuous growth, the East Bay solar installation company is now spinning off its renewable energy division, Comerford Solar. "The split is mainly to give us the ability to focus on each division individually, which allows us to better serve our clients," Jason Reynolds of Comerford Solar said. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/East-Bay-Solar-Heating-Company-Green-Air-Heating-3879867.php Phoenix Transport (Japan) Ltd., Prepares for Uptick in Business as Japan Accelerates Smart City Revitalization. As mega-solar, wind and other city-revitalization projects come on line, with full initiation expected around April 2013, Phoenix Transport (Japan) Ltd., Managing Director Martin Giles is preparing his team for quick response. “Our company was privately owned for about 25 years and thanks to the legacy of our Japanese owners and our strong client base in Japan, we have the perfect foundation to accept what we expect to be a significant inflow of traffic over the next 8 months. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Phoenix-Transport-Japan-Ltd-Prepares-for-3879459.php FORE Launches The First And Only LEED Gold Designed Apartment Community In Owings Mills Area. Fore Property Company (FORE) is pleased to announce its latest creative development, Groveton Green Apartments located in Owings Mills, Maryland. This $35 million, 226-unit community combines contemporary luxury living in an eco-friendly setting. "At Groveton Green, we worked hard to make it easy for you to love where you live," said Jim Sullivan, Vice President of Fore Property Company. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/20/4837748/fore-launches-the-first-and-only.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy Carnegie Mellon Launches Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation. Carnegie Mellon University launched the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation today, a major research and education initiative focused on improving energy efficiency and developing new, clean, affordable and sustainable energy sources. The institute was made possible by a lead gift from CMU alumni Sherman Scott (E'66), president and founder of Delmar Systems, and his wife, Joyce Bowie Scott (A'65), a trustee of the university. The institute is named for Sherman's father, Wilton E. Scott. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/20/4837908/carnegie-mellon-launches-wilton.html#storylink=misearch Renewable Energy for Military Applications. the largest single consumer of energy in the world, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is one of the most important drivers for the cleantech market today. The DOD has developed a comprehensive strategy to reduce energy consumption, improve battlefield effectiveness, increase energy security, and reduce costs. The Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps are each implementing detailed plans to achieve ambitious renewable energy and energy efficiency targets that, in most cases, are likely to be achieved by 2025, including 3 gigawatts (GW) of renewable power generation at military facilities, primarily via third-party financing. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/20/4837525/renewable-energy-for-military.html#storylink=misearch Feds approve California high-speed rail construction. The federal government on Wednesday approved the start of construction for California's $69 billion high-speed rail line, capping years of planning on the first leg of tracks in the Central Valley and likely kicking off a new round of lawsuits from opponents. The state has been eagerly awaiting the Federal Railroad Administration's endorsement of the Merced-to-Fresno section of the bullet train line since Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature gave the go-ahead two months ago. Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/california-high-speed-rail/ci_21583533/feds-approve-california-high-speed-rail-construction http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5heRvyJqLRz1WKyv8V0B5IbE_xBgA?docId=c7611c9a9d3042e2894b8a69770095ee http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-aeg-stadium-20120920,0,6963983.story OPINIONS Viewpoints: Offsets for state's cap-and-trade plan need clarity fast. This November, with its economy struggling, California plans to conduct its first auction of carbon permits as it launches an ambitious cap-and-trade program as part of its AB 32 legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The program will be the second largest program of its type in the world, behind the European Union's, and the largest in the United States. The program creates a market where facilities that emit carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases like methane can buy and sell credits that enable them to meet their obligations under AB 32's "cap" on emissions. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/20/4836657/offsets-for-states-cap-and-trade.html BLOGS Feds want public comments on EV Everywhere, lower-cost plug-in vehicle project. The cost of plug-in electric vehicles is right up there with perceived loss of convenience as a stumbling block for mass adoption of electric vehicles. To help figure out what it will take to climb over the cost hurdle, the U.S. Dept. of Energy would like to hear from you. In March, President Obama introduced the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, with the goal of enabling, within 10 years, U.S. companies to produce plug-in electric vehicles that are as affordable to families as other cars on the market. And to be first in the world to do it. Public comments on the EV Everywhere Initial Framing Document must be received by October 29, 2012 at the latest. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/09/19/feds-public-comments-ev-everywhere-lower-cost-plug-in-vehicles/ Carnegie Endowment says more plug-in incentives are needed. While many GOP leaders bang the drum against government subsidies for both makers and buyers of advanced-powertrain vehicles, the Carnegie Endowment has just put out a new report that says more federal and local incentives will be needed to ensure electric-drive vehicle sales gain momentum. As it stands, plug-in vehicle battery costs will need to fall from about $700 per kilowatt hour to something like $325 in order for battery-electric vehicles to become price-competitive with conventional vehicles, the study said. The report also listed about two-dozen U.S. "vanguard cities" for plug-in vehicle progressiveness, including usual suspects San Francisco, Boston and Austin, as well as cities like St. Louis, Atlanta and Columbus, OH. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/09/20/carnegie-endowment-says-more-plug-in-incentives-are-needed/ Infographic: California hydrogen fuel cell group lays out H2 vehicle roadmap. If you're interested in learning more about the future of fuel cell vehicles in the Golden State, the California Fuel Cell Partnership would like to present you with a couple of options: an infographic with facts and figures or a report called "A California Road Map: The Commercialization of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles" (which you can get either as an overview and technical versions). CaFCP's infographic has got more visual appeal and is more likely to reach consumers than the white papers. Posted. http://green.autoblog.com/2012/09/19/infographic-california-hydrogen-fuel-cell-group-lays-out-h2-veh/