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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for September 27, 2012 Posted: 27 Sep 2012 12:59:12
ARB Newsclips for September 27, 2012. 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 RESOURCES BOARD Sacramento region gets seat on state air board. The Sacramento region will get a seat on the California Air Resources Board under legislation signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown this week. Assembly Bill 146 will expand the ARB from 11 to 12 members, with the new seat reserved for a representative from the Sacramento, Placer, Yolo-Solano, El Dorado or Feather River air districts. Sacramento Democratic Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, who proposed AB 146, noted that the Sacramento region had been the largest major metropolitan area in California not assured a seat on the state air board. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/27/4858814/sacramento-region-gets-seat-on.html#storylink=cpy AIR POLLUTION EASTVALE: Sewage treatment plant odors trigger lawsuit. For nearly 15 years, a treatment plant in Eastvale went nearly unnoticed as it performed one of the dirtiest and most vital jobs in the city: collecting and treating the sewage for Eastvale’s estimated 56,000 residents. Now, the residential growth made possible by the plant has triggered a lawsuit from home builder Meritage Homes of California, which alleges noxious fumes from the plant have caused property values to plummet and potential buyers to walk away from purchase contracts on homes across the street from the plant. Posted. http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/riverside/riverside-headlines-index/20120926-eastvale-sewage-treatment-plant-odors-trigger-lawsuit.ece DuPont's DeLisle plant pays $117K pollution fine. The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality has fined DuPont Co.'s DeLisle plant $117,000 after pollution control equipment broke down, allowing a smokestack to emit too much during a March 2011 test. DuPont Co., based in Wilmington, Del., makes titanium dioxide, a whitening agent used in paint, paper and plastics, at the Harrison County plant. More than 800 employees and contractors work at the complex, which is Mississippi's largest single releaser of toxic chemicals. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/sep/26/duponts-delisle-plant-pays-117k-pollution-fine/ CLIMATE CHANGE Australia issues 6.37 million CO2 units. Australia on Thursday issued 6.37 million free carbon units to companies seeking compensation from the country's CO2 pricing mechanisms, the government said, the first ever emission rights to be issued under Australia's carbon scheme. The units were issued via Australia's emissions unit registry to alumina refiner Alcoa and ammonia and ammonium nitrate producer Queensland Nitrates, said the Clean Energy Regulator, the government body administering the scheme. Alcoa got just over 5.9 million of the units. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/27/us-australia-carbon-idUSBRE88Q0HS20120927 Alcoa Gets First Free Carbon Permits From Australian Regulator. Alcoa (AA), the largest U.S. aluminum producer, and Queensland Nitrates are the first to get free carbon permits from Australia through an A$8.6 billion ($8.9 billion) program to help businesses facing global competition. The companies are getting permits under the Jobs and Competitiveness Program, according to a statement today from Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator. Businesses such as aluminum smelters and steelmakers, which face constraints in their ability to pass through costs in global markets, can apply for free units over three years, according to the regulator. Posted. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-09-27/alcoa-gets-first-free-carbon-permits-from-australian-regulator Valley farmers examine climate change issues. New science and research has San Joaquin Valley farmers taking a harder look at the effect that climate change may have on their industry. If researcher's predictions hold true, the Valley's multi-billion dollar agriculture industry will be hit with longer stretches of hot temperatures, fewer colder days and shrinking water supplies. What that means for agriculture is potentially lower yields, a loss of revenue and fewer acres being farmed. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/09/27/3008118/valley-farmers-examine-climate.html#storylink=misearch http://www.modbee.com/2012/09/27/2391605/california-farmers-examine-climate.html#storylink=misearch AB 32 draws fire from businesses. Manufacturers, oil refiners and other business groups are protesting California’s cap-and-trade carbon market before the California Air Resources Board. The groups are demanding last-minute changes to AB 32, the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act, which they have labeled a “job killer” due to the cost of participating in the carbon market, according to The Sacramento Bee. Posted. http://www.newsreview.com/chico/ab-32-draws-fire-from/content?oid=7873690 State's greenhouse gas law drives city planners away from urban sprawl – report. Major regions of California are shifting away from urban sprawl because of a law that mandates cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, a green group report says. Sacramento, San Diego and the greater Los Angeles region have passed long-range plans that emphasize public transit, walking and biking, the analysis released this week from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) says. The new strategies plan very different futures from what exists now, said Amanda Eaken, deputy director of sustainable communities for NRDC. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/09/27/3 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Australia, moving ahead with cap and trade, talks to Calif. about linkage. Australia is "keen" to link its new emissions trading system to California's, a top Australian climate official said yesterday. Mark Dreyfus, Australia's parliamentary secretary for climate change and energy efficiency, said that he met earlier this week with California officials and that the government is eager for more conversations. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/09/27/4 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Analyst warns Calif. auction could drive down prices. An analysis of California's first-in-the-nation economywide auction of greenhouse gas allowances is warning that prices could be lower than current advance trading is fetching. Bloomberg New Energy Finance says there is a "real risk" that the Nov. 14 auction for at least 61 million carbon allowances will fetch prices near or at the minimum of $10 per ton, particularly for the batch of 39.5 million allowances that will be turned in starting in 2016. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/09/27/5 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY STUDY: TV News Covered Paul Ryan's Workout 3x More Than Record Arctic Sea Ice Loss. TV News Covered Paul Ryan's Workout Over Three Times More Than Arctic Sea Ice Loss. Since June, the major TV news outlets have devoted seven full segments to Paul Ryan's physical fitness and P90X workout routine, and only one to Arctic sea ice loss. ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC have each covered Paul Ryan's workout routine as much or more than Arctic sea ice loss. In total, TV outlets have discussed Ryan's fitness 66 times -- more than three times as much as Arctic sea ice. Posted. http://mediamatters.org/research/2012/09/27/study-tv-news-covered-paul-ryans-workout-3x-mor/190165 Venice Lagoon research indicates rapid climate change in coastal regions. Researchers believe that this is partly as a result of a process known as the 'urban heat island effect'; where regions experiencing rapid industrial and urban expansion produce vast amounts of heat, making the area warmer than its surroundings. Professor Carl Amos of Ocean and Earth Sciences at the University of Southampton, will be making a speech at the Estuarine & Coastal Sciences Association's Research & Management of Transitional Waters international symposium, in Lithuania on Thursday 27 September. Posted. http://phys.org/news/2012-09-venice-lagoon-rapid-climate-coastal.html#jCp DIESEL EMISSIONS Governor moves to help Port of Hueneme pay for power system. Gov. Jerry Brown took action this week to help California's ports avoid needing to borrow money for costs associated with a state mandate to build land-based power systems to reduce pollution. The systems are being developed to comply with new regulations requiring that ships anchored at California ports turn off their engines to limit emissions. Vessels will plug into equipment at the shore, allowing them to shut down their diesel engines and keep from emitting nitrogen oxides and particulate matter into the air. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/sep/26/governor-moves-to-help-port-of-hueneme-pay-for/?print=1 California Lower-Emission School Bus Program Issues Revisions to Implementation Dates. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) said it is adjusting the implementation deadline for the 2008 Lower-Emission School Bus Program Guidelines. A "Mail Out" posted on the CARB website, announces new statutory changes tied to Senate Bill 1018 (Chapter 39, Statutes of 2012), which include an extension of the expenditure deadline for Lower-Emission School Bus Program Proposition 1B (the Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality, and Port Security Bond Act of 2006) funds from June 30 of this year to June 30, 2014. Posted. http://www.stnonline.com/home/latest-news/4758-california-lower-emission-school-bus-program-issues-revisions-to-implementation-dates Freight Wing Offers New Side Skirt for Box Fairing Trailers. For truckers and fleets hauling van trailers with drop down storage boxes, aerodynamic fairings that improve fuel economy up to 5% are now available from Freight Wing. Attached to the storage box on each side of the trailer, the fairings are made of automotive grade plastic. A full fairing starts at the beginning of the trailer and connects to the belly box directing airflow around the storage container. The belly box profile is then extended downward with the Freight Wing fairing to about 8 inches from the ground. Posted. http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/news-detail.asp?news_id=78098 FUELS Biofuel startups turn to cosmetics, health supplements for profits. Once a promising source of green energy, high-tech biofuel is being eclipsed by skin cream and food products as manufacturers shift to more lucrative products. After Congress enacted a renewable fuel standard in 2005, more than a dozen Bay Area companies joined the race to design new biofuels. The idea was to use genetically engineered microorganisms or other novel techniques to convert renewable crops into fuel with half the carbon emissions of gasoline. Posted. http://www.baycitizen.org/energy/story/biofuel-startups-turn-cosmetics-health/ http://www.nctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/biofuel-startups-turn-to-cosmetics-health-supplements-for-profits/article_74e1c3b9-51ff-5629-8d24-00923c5aaae3.html Fight over canola pits biofuels vs. organics. Wet winters and cool, dry summers make Oregon's Willamette Valley one of the best places on the globe to produce seeds for organic broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and a variety of other vegetables known as brassicas. That means the fields south of Portland are also an ideal place to grow canola, another brassica whose seeds can be pressed to extract oil for food or renewable fuel. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/sep/27/fight-over-canola-pits-biofuels-vs-organics/ Qatar natural gas firm to send more fuel to Japan. Qatari state-backed natural gas producer Qatargas says it has signed a long-term supply deal with a Japanese power company as the Asian nation increasingly relies on fossil fuels after a nuclear meltdown last year. Qatargas said Wednesday the deal with Kansai Electric Power Company covers shipments of half a million tons of liquefied natural gas annually for 15 years, beginning next year. Financial details were not disclosed. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/business/qatar-natural-gas-firm-to-send-more-fuel-to-japan/article_2558edfd-76e9-5d64-979c-dff366f3f330.html REGION: Supervisors green light expansion of financing program. Riverside County Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to authorize expansion of a program that provides financing for homeowners to make houses energy- and water-efficient. Through the Western Riverside Council of Governments program, homeowners have secured $51 million in loans to install solar panels, tankless water heaters, efficient air conditioners, drip irrigation systems and other improvements. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/swcounty/region-supervisors-green-light-expansion-of-financing-program/article_d5479e2a-dbf0-5b22-84b9-9c929e3e8796.html Builders aim for super-energy-efficient homes. Crowned with three gables and painted in hues of gray and white, the suburban home in Lake Forest, Calif., doesn't look much like the domicile of the future. But as summer heat radiates off the fresh asphalt outside, the home runs comfortably at full tilt indoors. Recessed lights shine, radios blare and air-conditioned splendor greets hot skin. Despite all systems going, the property is producing more electricity than it can consume on a warm summer day - and that's the goal. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2012/09/27/2391394/builders-aim-for-super-energy.html#storylink=misearch GREEN ENERGY British utility to burn wood for fuel. Drax Group PLC will convert part of the United Kingdom's biggest coal-fired power plant to biomass-burning units, which will require harvesting forests four times the size of Rhode Island each year. "We see a key part of our future as converting from essentially a coal station to a biomass station," said Drax CEO Dorothy Thompson. "It will take Drax from being the largest carbon emitter by site in the U.K. to being, probably, one of the largest renewable plants in the world." Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/09/27/7 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Latest on energy storage and charging infrastructure - Electric Japan Weekly No46. This Japan column reports on promising developments in energy density of EV batteries from Toyota, wireless charging experiments, which are part of a Smart City Project, and the growing charging infrastructure in the Kanto area. Also, the end of the Eco Car subsidy program was marked by a total government assistance of €2.7bil. Last week at an event in Tokyo, Toyota presented its latest achievements in energy storage technology. In the prototype battery the lithium-ion battery electrolyte was replaced by all solid electrolyte improving overall compactness. Posted. http://cars21.com/news/view/4954 Walnut Creek's County Connection Free Ride trolley buses to go electric. The green trolley buses are about to get more green. Thanks to a $4.3 million federal grant, the "Free Ride" will soon run on electrically charged batteries rather than by diesel power. It will make the downtown route the first in the county operated by all-electric powered buses. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_21636047/walnut-creeks-county-connection-free-ride-trolley-buses?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com Automakers explore 'lightweighting,' another route to boost gas mileage. When it comes to improving fuel economy, engines, powertrains, fuels and batteries seem to get all the attention. But what about the car's traditional steel side panel or rooftop? Using advanced lightweight materials on even the most basic car parts can improve overall fuel efficiency, too. According to the Department of Energy, reducing a vehicle's weight by 10 percent can improve fuel economy by 6 to 8 percent. Steel has traditionally made up about 60 percent of a vehicle's total weight. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2012/09/27/2 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Self-Regulating Tires Inflate While Rolling. We all know the consequences of driving on under-inflated tires: faster wear, increased potential for popping, and decreased gas milage. About half of all commercial vehicle breakdowns result from tire problems, according to the American Trucking Association, and tires are the single biggest expense for fleet operators. Since 2011, Goodyear has been working on self-regulating tires, and next year the company will begin testing its new self-inflating technology on commercial vehicles. Posted. http://www.wired.com/autopia/2012/09/self-inflating-tires/ HIGH-SPEED RAIL Jerry Brown Tells Californians They Can 'Eat High Speed Rail'. California has long been a national leader. In industries such as aerospace, entertainment, agricultural and hi-tech, to name just a few, the Golden State has historically led the way. Today, however, California is the trendsetter in such statistics as unemployment, foreclosures, deficits, unfunded pension liabilities and government workers. Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2012/09/26/jerry-brown-tells-californians-they-can-eat-high-speed-rail/ Judge will high-speed rail injunction request. A Sacramento judge will consider a motion for a preliminary injunction that could derail California's high-speed rail project in the central San Joaquin Valley. Judge Timothy Frawley ordered Friday that three separate lawsuits against the California High-Speed Rail Authority will be combined for future hearings in Sacramento Superior Court. The cases are challenging the rail authority's final approval of environmental reports and a route between Merced and Fresno -- one of the first sections of tracks that the authority hopes to begin building next year. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/09/26/3007787/judge-will-consider-request-for.html GREEN ENERGY Taxpayers, ratepayers will fund California solar plants. Driven by the Obama administration's vision of clean power and energy independence, the rush to build large-scale solar plants across the Southwest has created an investors' dream in the desert. Taxpayers have poured tens of billions of dollars into solar projects -- some of which will have all their construction and development costs financed by the government by the time they start producing power. Posted. http://www.insidebayarea.com/business/ci_21636897/taxpayers-ratepayers-will-fund-california-solar-plants?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/business/ci_21636897/taxpayers-ratepayers-will-fund-california-solar-plants?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com GE 'betting big on gas' with new turbines. The world's largest gas turbine manufacturer unveiled a new natural gas-fired power plant yesterday, expressing confidence in long-term cheap gas supplies and the need to supplement increasing amounts of renewable electricity. Flanked by California regulators and international customers, General Electric Co. executives announced 19 orders for the turbines totaling $1.2 billion. The company has spent close to $750 million on research and development, including a $170 million testing center in South Carolina. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/energywire/print/2012/09/27/2 BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS Resort’s Snow Won’t Be Pure This Year; It’ll Be Sewage. Klee Benally, a member of the Navajo tribe, has gone to the mountains just north of here to pray, and he has gone to get arrested. He has chained himself to excavators; he has faced down bulldozers. For 10 years, the soft-spoken activist has fought a ski resort’s expansion plans in the San Francisco Peaks that include clear-cutting 74 acres of forest and piping treated sewage effluent onto a mountain to make snow. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/27/us/arizona-ski-resorts-sewage-plan-creates-uproar.html?ref=earth County contests billion-dollar stormwater rules. Regulations designed to reduce chronic pollution problems that close beaches after rainstorms are projected to cost far more than county officials say they can afford. Expensive regional plans for cleaning up bacterial contamination are creating a backlash against stormwater regulators, forcing long-running questions about the costs and benefits of environmental rules back into the spotlight. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/sep/26/county-challenges-billion-dollar-stormwater-rules/ Pollution-busting laundry additive gets set to clean up September 26, 2012 Within just two years, we could all be wearing clothes that purify the air as we simply move around in them. Plans are now proceeding to commercialise a revolutionary liquid laundry additive called 'CatClo', which contains microscopic pollution-eating particles. The new additive is the result of collaboration between the University of Sheffield and London College of Fashion, with initial support from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Posted. http://phys.org/news/2012-09-pollution-busting-laundry-additive.html#jCp OPINION Will Surging Oil Prices Prevent Environmental Doom? In the 21st century, burning hydrocarbons is critical to achieving the economic expansion that is needed to support the billions of new people who are projected to inhabit the planet. Yet chasing that growth could throw so much carbon into the atmosphere that it may undermine humanity’s very survival. Thankfully, there is another way to look at this dilemma. If the abundance of hydrocarbons has brought us to the brink of catastrophic climate change…Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-26/will-surging-oil-prices-prevent-environmental-doom-.html A Climate Success Story to Build On. In the early 1970s, scientists discovered the first human threat to the Earth’s atmosphere — the threat from chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, to the stratospheric ozone layer. The ozone layer shields plants and animals, including humans, from deadly ultraviolet radiation. If the ozone layer were depleted as a consequence of human activities, millions of Americans would develop skin cancer and U.S. health care costs would reach several trillion dollars later this century. Worldwide it would be a catastrophe. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/26/opinion/montreal-protocol-a-climate-success-story-to-build-on.html?ref=greenhousegasemissions Cap-and-Trade: Investing in California’s Future. California is poised to launch a new wave of investment and economic growth. In November, the state will conduct its inaugural auction of emission allowances under California’s Cap-and-Trade program. This market-based program is an important component of the Global Warming Solutions Act, and part of a portfolio of smart strategies that will transition California to a clean energy economy under AB 32. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/09/26/3007787/judge-will-consider-request-for.html http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2012/09/cap-and-trade-investing-in-californias-future/ First carbon permits issued as emissions market dawns. CARBON trading has officially begun in Australia, with the government yesterday issuing the first permits under its carbon price. Nearly three months since the scheme began, two companies have been given permits worth a total of nearly $150 million - aluminum firm Alcoa, and Queensland Nitrates, which supplies chemicals to the mining industry. The issue of the permits is significant because it marks the point at which carbon permits start to be bought and sold among the roughly 300 companies that pay the carbon price. Posted. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/first-carbon-permits-issued-as-emissions-market-dawns-20120927-26o0w.html#ixzz27h2NIaQm BLOGS How Rachel Carson Spurred Chemical Concerns by Highlighting Uncertainty. Rachel Carson‘s work and legacy are being actively assessed at the moment, given that her landmark book, “Silent Spring,” was published 50 years ago this week. A good starting point is “How ‘Silent Spring’ Ignited the Environmental Movement,” a fascinating feature by Eliza Griswold in last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/27/how-rachel-carson-spurred-chemical-controls-by-highlighting-uncertainty/ The Domino Effect in Nature, and Visual Storytelling. My friend Randy Olson, the filmmaker and science-communication evangelizer devoted to prodding folks out of the “nerd loop,” has been at it again — this time running one of his three-day video-making boot camps for graduate students in the TerreWEB program (on communication of global-change science) at the University of British Columbia. One student, Megan Callahan, came up with a particularly effective video on the interconnections in ecosystems. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/26/the-domino-effect-in-nature-and-visual-storytelling/ ELEMENTS: Summer of Extremes. Summer of 2012 was the most extreme in U.S. history, the non-profit science organization Climate Communication concluded, after reviewing data compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For instance, the report stated, more than 10,000 record high temperatures were recorded between June and August. And about 80 million people - about 10 million more than in 2011-experienced heat waves of 100 degrees or higher. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/blogsnew/news/environment/elements-summer-of-extremes/article_8fb4c654-8c7e-5bec-884a-96a502696970.html Climate Policies that Deliver What Communities Need. What if the stroke of a pen could direct more resources to disadvantaged communities? What if we could double health benefits from measures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions? And what if we could move the biggest toxic polluters to the top of the list for facility upgrades and efficiency improvements? All of these are possible as part of a comprehensive climate strategy that focuses action where the added benefits to society are greatest. Posted. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/dbailey/climate_policies_that_deliver.html