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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 17, 2013.

Posted: 17 Jan 2013 14:09:44
ARB Newsclips for January 17, 2013. ARB Newsclips for January 17,

This is a service of the California Air Resources Boards Office
of Communications.  You may need to sign in or register with
individual websites to view some of the following news articles.


Beijing's toxic smog was years in the making, had many sources.
Chinese leaders dazzled the world by clearing the skies as if by
edict before the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008. Fast forward to
January 2013, and the government seems powerless against those
same skies, tarnished by an opaque, toxic cloud that has
smothered the city for nearly a week. The number-two leader in
the country's Communist Party hierarchy, Li Keqiang, appealed
this week for Beijing's 20 million residents to show patience
during what he said would be a "long-term" clean-up. Posted.

EPA: Mid-Atlantic air pollution down in 2011.  The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency says releases of toxic air
pollutants were down in 2011 in the Mid-Atlantic.  And the
federal agency says cleaner power plants are part of the reason. 
The EPA says releases were down 13.8 percent in 2011 in Maryland,
Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and the District
of Columbia compared to 2010. Nationwide, total toxic air
releases dropped 8 percent from 2010.  Posted. 

Season's sixth Spare the Air alert issued for Thursday. 
Wood-burning fires will be banned in the Bay Area for the second
consecutive day Thursday, marking the sixth Spare the Air alert
of the winter season, officials said.  The Bay Area Air Quality
Management District forecasts unhealthy levels of smoke and other
fine particulates on Thursday because stagnant air will trap
pollutants near the ground.  While an alert is in progress, it is
illegal for residents and businesses to use their fireplaces,
woodstoves and inserts, pellet stoves, outdoor fire pits, or any
other wood-burning devices. Posted. 

Mexico City bike riders protest air quality. Two men and two
women rode topless down Mexico City's main boulevard Wednesday to
protest the health effects of the city's ongoing pollution
problem and encourage residents to use bicycles instead of
cars.The cyclists had painted their bodies with the outlines of
diseased lungs and other internal organs they say are affected by
car-caused pollution. The protest was sponsored by children's and
bicycle rights groups. The city has made progress since the
mid-1990s, when air quality was unacceptable almost every day of
the year. Posted.

County Air Pollution Officials Host Meeting on Air Quality in the
Nipomo Mesa.  San Luis Obispo County Air officials held a public
meeting on Wednesday night to talk about air quality levels in
the Nipomo Mesa.  The Air Pollution Control District released the
results of an air quality study at Mesa Middle School in Arroyo
Grande, to show how far dust can travel from the Oceano Dunes to
the Nipomo Mesa.  Posted. 

Soot is the second-most dangerous global warming pollutant.  When
the EPA announced stricter limits on soot emissions last year,
the health benefits were immediately apparent. Less soot  that
is, tiny particles that result from burning fossil fuels  means
fewer heart attacks, less asthma, longer lifespans. On this basis
alone, the new standard is a beneficial move.  As it turns out,
the move could also play a significant role in countering global
warming.  Posted. 


COLUMN-EU carbon capture needs emissions limit: Wynn. The
European Union will have to introduce mandatory standards to
limit power plant emissions, given a failure to introduce carbon
capture and storage (CCS) technology plus rising coal consumption
and the construction of new coal power plants. A market-based
approach to limit coal emissions through CCS has failed. The
Commission had hoped to motivate the building of CCS pilot plants
mostly through its emissions trading scheme. Posted.

Disaster response must be quicker, more flexible to handle
growing climate uncertainty. In a world marked by increasingly
irregular weather systems, the United States will need to adopt a
more flexible approach to disaster management, according to
panelists at the 13th National Conference on Science, Policy and
the Environment. "Our uncertainty about what the future holds is
increasing," said Amy Luers, director of climate change at the
Skoll Global Threats Fund. "That's a really hard message to
communicate to the public." Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2013/01/17/4 BY SUBSCRIPTION


Inspection of Diesel Trucks For Pollution. In the parking lot of
the Sears building at 12th and Soto St., representatives from the
California Air Resources Board and Highway Patrol carry out
inspections of diesel trucks to ensure compliance with state laws
regarding air pollution while in Los Angeles and surrounding
areas. Posted. www.laopinion.com (pdf. Attachment)

Lawsuit could force costly delay in new gas furnace standards.
The wait for more fuel-efficient gas furnaces just got longer.
The Department of Energy has moved to withdraw a new rule that
would require consumers in 30 northern states to buy
90-percent-efficient furnaces starting May 1. The rule would have
saved 81 million to 130 million metric tons of carbon dioxide
between 2013 and 2045, according to DOE estimates, as consumers
upgraded their furnaces from 80 percent efficiency to 90 percent
efficiency systems. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/01/17/3 BY


High-speed rail critic Jeff Denham to chair House railroad panel.
High-speed rail skeptics gained new traction Wednesday with the
promotion of Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, to chairmanship of the
House panel that oversees railroads. A sharp critic of
California's ambitious high-speed rail plan, Denham can use his
post to challenge one of the Obama administration's top public
works priorities. Future rail legislation must pass through
Denham's subcommittee, which can also hold hearings to shed
potentially unflattering light on specific projects like
California's. Posted.

Amtrak, Calif. officials team up in search for fast trains. In a
move likely to draw opposition from key House Republicans, Amtrak
and California transportation officials today announced plans to
jointly look for high-speed train systems currently in production
that are capable of traveling up to 220 miles per hour. Joseph
Boardman, Amtrak's top executive, and Jeff Morales, chief
executive of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, said their
partnership would ensure high-speed systems eventually become a
reality on the West Coast and along Amtrak's busy Northeast
corridor. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/01/17/5 BY


Army's largest solar array dedicated in New Mexico. The U.S. Army
dedicated its largest solar energy-producing system on Wednesday
at White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico.The $16.8
million array includes nearly 15,500 sun-tracking solar panels
spread across 42 acres. It will be capable of producing 10
million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year - enough to meet
about 10 percent of the need of the missile range.With abundant
sunshine, New Mexico made an ideal site for the project, said
Garrison Commander Col. Leo Pullar, one of the officials who
attended the ceremony. Posted.


Living Smart: Mold testing and remediation. Few states have
enacted guidelines that prohibit companies from performing both
mold testing and mold remediation. In fact, in most states, the
same company that inspects and tests for mold can also be the
same company that does the remediation. That poses the potential
for a huge conflict of interest. "The more stuff a (mold
remediation) contractor finds wrong, the more he gets paid," said
Tom Alford, a Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant and
certified Mold Remediation Supervisor with Enviropro in St. Louis
who only does inspection and testing for mold, not remediation.

Debate over pivotal environmental law heats up as lawmakers plan
overhaul. Battle lines are being drawn in California over a
legislative push to overhaul a key state environmental law. At
issue is the 1970 California Environmental Quality Act's required
"environmental impact reports" for any development project that
needs state or local approval -- reviews blamed by the law's
critics for permitting delays and increased building costs.
Posted. http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/print/2013/01/17/6 BY


Kevin O'Leary: Warming not a partisan issue  it's physics.  As
Southern California shivers in record low temperatures, extreme
weather ravages the globe. Australia melts in another summer of
blistering heat and fires, Britain endures near-biblical rains
and floods, China freezes in its bitterest winter in 30 years and
snow blankets Jerusalem. Climate change is not just about heat;
it's about more frequent and intense weather gyrations. In the
United States, 2012 was the hottest year in recorded history with
the farm belt drought, killer tornados and Superstorm Sandy
costing tens of billions of dollars.  Posted. 


On the Non-equivalence of Greenhouse Gases and Entitlement
Spending. One fairly common trope in budget discussions  Im
pretty sure Ive done it myself, somewhere along the line  is to
compare attitudes toward fiscal issues and those toward
environmental issues. The usual version, which I must have used,
is to compare attitudes toward the long run: pointing out how
strange it is that many people profess to be deeply concerned
about the state of the Social Security trust fund in the year
2037, while being apparently indifferent to the state of the
climate around the same time, which is all too likely to involve
things like a permanent drought in the southwest and so on.

Environmental group pushes for hearing on San Onofre restart. The
environmental group Friends of the Earth made its case to federal
regulators Wednesday that Southern California Edison should be
barred from restarting the San Onofre nuclear plant unless it
goes through a trial-like hearing process. The meeting Wednesday
between Friends of the Earth and a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory
Commission review board was the latest step in a dispute that has
been going on for more than six months. Posted.

CA Congressman's new post another roadblock for high speed rail? 
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was on Capitol Hill
today to reassure Californians that high speed rail is one of
President Obama's highest priorities. It's not necessarily the
top priority on Capitol Hill.  Republican Congressman Jeff Denham
of Fresno has been one of the most vocal critics of California's
high speed rail project. In 2012, he introduced an amendment to
the transportation bill that would have forbidden a dime to be
spent on the project.  Posted. 

 Air Pollution in China Should be a Catalyst for Air Pollution
Action.  While many Beijing residents have long voiced concern
and discontent over air pollution levels, it took possibly the
worst air pollution in recent history to get the government to
acknowledge the problem. On Saturday, January 12, air pollution
levels in Beijing broke records: PM 2.5  the fine particles that
gets lodged in the lungs  spiked to 886 while the Air Quality
Index (AQI) climbed to 755. Posted. 

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