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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for January 18-22, 2013. Posted: 22 Jan 2013 15:23:37
ARB Newsclips for January 18-22, 2013. 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 Mercury-Emissions Treaty Is Adopted After Years of Negotiations. More than 140 nations adopted the first legally binding international treaty on Saturday aimed at reducing mercury emissions, after four years of negotiations on ways to set limits on the use of a highly toxic metal. The treaty was adopted after all-night negotiations that followed a week of talks in Geneva, United Nations environmental officials and diplomats said. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/20/science/earth/mercury-emissions-treaty-adopted.html?_r=0&pagewanted=print Beijing to Scrap Old Cars and Swap Coal-Burners in Clean Air Bid. Beijing’s acting mayor said the city will take 180,000 old vehicles off the road and replace coal- burning heaters in 44,000 homes in a bid to cut air pollutants by 2 percent this year. The capital will also promote clean-energy vehicles among government departments, the public, street cleaners and trash collectors, the Xinhua News Agency reported, citing top city official Wang Anshun. He spoke at the opening of the municipality’s legislative session. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-22/beijing-to-scrap-old-cars-and-swap-coal-burners-in-clean-air-bid.html Supreme Court won’t hear challenge to EPA rulemaking on sulfur dioxide. The Supreme Court won’t hear a challenge to a tough new clean air requirement limiting sulfur dioxide emissions. The high court on Tuesday refused to hear an appeal from businesses and industrial interests involving an Environmental Protection Agency regulation setting emission levels of sulfur dioxide, a colorless gas with the smell of rotting eggs. Sulfur dioxide from power plant smokestacks can be carried long distances by wind and weather and has been linked to various illnesses including asthma. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/supreme-court-wont-hear-challenge-to-epa-rulemaking-on-sulfur-dioxide/2013/01/22/03610256-64aa-11e2-889b-f23c246aa446_story.html http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2013-01-22/court-wont-hear-challenge-to-clean-air-act-rule http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_22424580/court-wont-hear-challenge-clean-air-act-rule?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_22424580/court-wont-hear-challenge-clean-air-act-rule?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.modbee.com/2013/01/22/2543297/court-wont-hear-challenge-to-clean.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy Despite a Whiff of Unpleasant Exaggeration, a City’s Pollution Is Real. It has long been a given that the air pollution in this city gets horrific: on average even worse than Beijing’s infamous haze, by one measure. For nearly as long, there has been the widespread belief by foreign troops and officials here that — let’s be blunt here — feces are a part of the problem. Canadian soldiers were even warned about it in predeployment briefings, which cited reports that one test had found that as many as 30 percent of air samples contained fecal particles. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/22/world/asia/kabuls-pollution-is-real-despite-unpleasant-exaggeration.html In China, Widening Discontent Among the Communist Party Faithful. A widening discontent was evident this month in the anticensorship street protests in the southern city of Guangzhou and in the online outrage that exploded over an extraordinary surge in air pollution in the north. Anger has also reached a boil over fears concerning hazardous tap water and over a factory spill of 39 tons of a toxic chemical in Shanxi Province that has led to panic in nearby cities. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/20/world/asia/in-china-discontent-among-the-normally-faithful.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 EPA proposes compromise on Navajo Generating Station's emissions. Haze from the Arizona power plant can be seen at many Southwest parks and wilderness areas. The EPA proposes giving it five extra years to lower emissions, which could save tribal members' jobs. The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing regulations to reduce emissions from the massive Navajo Generating Station by as much as 84%...Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-epa-power-plant-20130118,0,5080890,print.story Spare the Air alert called for Friday for third day in a row. Wood fires will be banned in the Bay Area on Friday, the third day in a row that a Spare the Air alert has been called due to forecasts for unhealthy air quality. Spare the Air alerts also are possible for Saturday and Sunday, which would give the region a record five consecutive winter days in a row with health alerts, said officials at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/breaking-news/ci_22395266/spare-air-alert-called-friday-third-day-row?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.insidebayarea.com/breaking-news/ci_22395266/spare-air-alert-called-friday-third-day-row?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com How China's air pollution disaster is coming to America. China's air pollution disaster is coming to America. The pollution comes from unprecedented levels of coal burning that has turned Beijing into a crisis zone. The news stories have focused on China with little attention to other areas, especially California. Particulate matter can arrive within days because the western U.S.is downwind of China. According to a Jan. 17 China Dialogue article, researchers now realize that more than a few air pollution violations in U.S. cities actually originated in Asia. Posted. http://www.examiner.com/article/how-china-s-air-pollution-disaster-is-coming-to-america Manganese plume in Hinkley draws new focus. Mention the community of Hinkley and one might think of a chromium plume in the area. That association might only be about half right. Get ready to add a new one: Manganese plume. Since November, San Francisco-based Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has been remediating a small manganese plume north of the ground zero point of its internationally known chromium 6 plume. Posted. http://www.sbsun.com/news/ci_22398468/manganese-plume-hinkley-draws-new-focus#ixzz2IjU50HBp From activist to EPA: Tejada ready to "speak truth" about environmental justice. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is turning to a Houston activist to lead the fight against environmental injustices around the country. Tejada will bring to the job what he's learned battling severe pollution problems in low-income communities near the Ship Channel, where air pollutants spewed by oil refineries, chemical plants and the shipping industry are linked to cancer and asthma. "We have the largest challenges, the most diverse challenges, the largest number of people that are suffering negative health impacts…Posted. http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2013/tejada States, EPA Try to Tackle Interstate Air Pollution. Interstate air pollution has posed significant challenges for environmental regulators for decades. Although some air pollutants only affect air quality locally in the states where they are emitted, some emissions cross state lines and affect downwind states. EPA's latest effort to address interstate air pollution, the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR, often pronounced "Casper"), was invalidated Aug. 21, 2012, by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Posted. http://eponline.com/articles/2013/01/21/states-epa-try-to-tackle-interstate-air-pollution.aspx BREAKING NEWS: Governor responds to La Jolla Cove stench issue; city plans to vacuum offending bird waste. The La Jolla Town Council (LJTC) and La Jolla Village Merchants Association (LJVMA) both began the year reviving discussion of the unsavory aroma wafting from La Jolla Cove. Posted. http://www.lajollalight.com/2013/01/17/breaking-news-governor-responds-on-la-jolla-cove-stench-city-plans-to-vacuum-offending-bird-waste/ CLIMATE CHANGE Obama wins praise abroad for climate change goals. U.S. President Barack Obama won praise abroad on Tuesday for his pledge to lead the fight against climate change, which has faltered as nations argue over who should foot the bill to lower carbon emissions. Two decades of summits and resolutions have not stopped mankind pumping growing quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, despite a wealth of evidence that it is causing more frequent and devastating droughts, storms and floods. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/22/us-climate-obama-reaction-idUSBRE90L0NC20130122 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/22/us/politics/climate-change-prominent-in-obamas-inaugural-address.html?_r=0 http://www.sacbee.com/2013/01/22/5131130/environmentalists-hail-obama-climate.html http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_22423237/environmentalists-hail-obama-climate-change-focus?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_22423237/environmentalists-hail-obama-climate-change-focus?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/01/22/3142634/environmentalists-hail-obama-climate.html#storylink=misearch http://www.modbee.com/2013/01/22/2542972/environmentalists-hail-obama-climate.html#storylink=misearch BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2013/01/22/1 BY SUBSRIPTION ONLY Every Tree Counts In Fighting Climate Change, Says Ecologist. Arborists, local governments and volunteers have spent the last year mapping San Diego County’s urban trees to calculate their environmental and financial benefit. So far, the map shows 331,632 trees that have reduced an estimated 24.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Kelaine Ravdin, the urban ecologist managing the “unofficial” tree counting effort… Posted. http://www.kpbs.org/news/2013/jan/22/every-tree-counts-fighting-climate-change-says-eco/ White House fixed on 17 percent greenhouse gas emission reductions. President Obama may have entered a new term, but his climate change control plans are all first-term goals. As late as Monday, administration energy officials still were touting a plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions nationwide by 17 percent of 2005 levels by 2020. What that 17 percent reduction level means, in layman’s terms: Electricity costs will rise, in order that plants can make the necessary technological advances in production processes to comply with the limits. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/22/white-house-still-touts-17-percent-magic-number-em/#ixzz2IjgU0u5N AP Interview: UN chief wants action on climate. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says his top hopes for 2013 are to reach a new agreement on climate change and to urgently end the increasingly deadly and divisive war in Syria. The U.N. chief told The Associated Press that he's also hoping for progress in getting the global economy humming again, restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, promoting political solutions in Mali, Congo and the Central African Republic, and providing energy, food and water to all people. Posted. http://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2013/01/22/ap-interview-un-chief-wants-action-on-climate http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_22423033/ap-interview-un-chief-wants-action-climate?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/01/21/3142600/ap-interview-un-chief-wants-action.html#storylink=misearch DIESEL EMISSIONS Emissions standards chill truckers hauling cooled goods. Arthur Parrino has spent half a century crisscrossing the United States behind the wheel of a semi-trailer truck. His logbooks speak of millions of miles of interstate hauls and short-distance work at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. But the 68-year-old Parrino fears he might be reaching the end of the road. In 2008, his three-rig operation shrank by two-thirds when the ports' Clean Truck Program went into effect, barring older, heavy polluting engines. Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/health/x1055276862/Emissions-standards-chill-truckers-hauling-cooled-goods BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY CARB Issues First Fine Under 2004 TRU Regs. The San Bernardino County Superior Court has fined Foster Enterprises, an Ontario-based refrigerated transportation and cold storage business, $300,000 after a California Air Resources Board investigation revealed that the company failed to upgrade older diesel engines in its refrigerated trailer fleet as required to meet current emissions standards. The case resulted in the first court-imposed fine issued under CARB's 2004 Transport Refrigeration Unit regulation. Posted. http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/news-detail.asp?news_id=79091 http://www.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryID=24676 FUELS Diesel Output Increase May Boost Europe Gasoline Crack, JBC Says. Diesel-making capacity in Europe has increased by 360,000 barrels a day in the past five years even as crude refineries are halted, a trend that may boost gasoline processing margins, according to JBC Energy GmbH. The growth in hydrocrackers, a unit that mostly produces middle distillates such as diesel and gasoil, coincided with a 1 million barrel-a-day drop in European crude refining capacity in the same period, the Vienna-based researcher said today in a research note. Posted. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-22/diesel-output-increase-may-boost-europe-gasoline-crack-jbc-says.html . RFA urges CARB to revise carbon intensity values under the LCFS. The Renewable Fuels Association is urging the California Air Resources Board to revise indirect land use change (ILUC) penalties assigned to certain biofuels under the state’s low carbon fuel standard (LCFS). In a letter RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen sent to CARB Chairwoman Mary Nichols on Jan. 17, he notes that more than two years have passed since CARB adopted a resolution directing its staff to prepare amendments to revise the carbon intensity values of several biofuels, including corn ethanol, sugarcane ethanol and soy biodiesel. Posted. http://ethanolproducer.com/articles/9484/rfa-urges-carb-to-revise-carbon-intensity-values-under-the-lcfs VEHICLES Boeing's battery woes could short-circuit e-cars. The ongoing investigation of faulty lithium-ion power packs on the new 787 Dreamliner could have implications far beyond the aerospace industry, some observers worrying that Boeing’s battery problems could short-circuit the nascent market for plug-ins, hybrids and other electrified automobiles. Investigators in the U.S. and Japan have put a spotlight on the lithium backup power systems used on the new Boeing jet…Posted. http://www.nbcnews.com/business/boeings-battery-woes-could-short-circuit-e-cars-1B8039399 HIGH-SPEED RAIL Amtrak, California team up on high-speed rail. The two biggest players in the nation's pursuit of high-speed rail said Thursday they'll work together to search for trains that will operate at up to 220 miles per hour along both coasts of the United States. Officials with Amtrak and the California High-Speed Rail Authority said they envision that the two systems will purchase about 60 trains over the next decade. The first order could take place next year. Posted. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ia2M3yAMmBYl0LjqS3-0a56RRlng?docId=4777cf9e70e043939dcac45212780a86 Other related articles: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57564547/california-works-with-amtrak-to-make-high-speed-rail/ http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/state&id=8959811 California engineers question high-speed rail oversight. As California prepares to embark on its largest public works project in decades, a union that represents state engineers is questioning whether all the construction work will be thoroughly scrutinized. Contractors submitted bids this week to design and build the first 30-mile stretch of track for the $68 billion high-speed rail system, which eventually is designed to link Northern and Southern California by trains traveling up to 220 mph. The contract they sign is expected to be for up to $1.8 billion to build the initial segment in the Central Valley. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/politics-government/ci_22418650?source=rss http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_22409731/state-engineers-question-high-speed-rail-oversight GREEN ENERGY LEDs Emerge as a Popular ‘Green’ Lighting. The lighting industry has finally come up with an energy-efficient replacement for the standard incandescent bulb that people actually seem to like: the LED bulb. Although priced at around 20 times more than the old-fashioned incandescent, bulbs based on LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, last much longer and use far less electricity, a saving that homeowners are beginning to recognize. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/22/business/leds-emerge-as-a-popular-green-lighting.html Sunrise line delivering renewable energy. The Sunrise Powerlink has begun delivering significant amounts of renewable energy to San Diego from the first in a string of wind and solar plants stretching into the Imperial Valley desert, San Diego Gas & Electric announced. SDG&E completed construction of the 117-mile, $1.8 billion transmission line in July. The first major jolts of electricity arrived this month after a major wind power plant at Ocotillo tied into the line. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jan/21/Sunrise-delivers-renewables/ MISCELLANEOUS San Diego report measures quality of life. San Diego County’s air quality, economy and renewable energy use showed improvement, but there are shortfalls in the region’s water quality and transportation systems, according to a new report. The Equinox Center, a small nonpartisan think tank in Encinitas, on Thursday released its fourth annual “Dashboard” report, which analyzed 14 benchmarks to compare San Diego County’s quality of life in 2011 with those of other communities, and with its own performance in previous years. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jan/17/san-diego-dashboard-report-measures-quality-of/?st OPINIONS MILLOY: China’s bad air puts the lie to EPA scare tactics. China’s notoriously bad air has recently been especially hard to breathe. It also shows that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) science is especially hard to believe. A January temperature inversion over China has caused the air to stagnate and emissions of air pollutants to concentrate, especially over urban areas like Beijing. The air is so bad that it has forced the Chinese government to allow its media to agitate for pollution controls. Posted. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/22/chinas-bad-air-puts-the-lie-to-epa-scare-tactics/ The Climate Change Endgame. WHETHER in Davos or almost anywhere else that leaders are discussing the world’s problems, they are missing by far the biggest issue: the rapidly deteriorating global environment and its ability to support civilization. The situation is pretty much an endgame. Unless pressing issues of the biology of the planet and of climate change generated by greenhouse gas emissions are addressed with immediacy and at appropriate scale, the matters that occupy Davos discussions will be seen in retrospect as largely irrelevant. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/22/opinion/global/the-climate-change-endgame.html Lowering emissions, raising red flags. The Low Carbon Fuel Standard was intended to reduce California carbon emissions, but it may come with some terrible unintended consequences. We've all seen the movie: Some small, seemingly unrelated actions lead to dire and unintended consequences. It happens in real life too, especially in government. The Low Carbon Fuel Standard, a regulatory program established under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, was intended to reduce California carbon emissions, but it may come with some terrible unintended consequences. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-gatto-california-carbon-standard-20130118,0,3381157.story Letters: Go solar, DWP. Re "DWP will buy excess solar energy," Jan. 12. Well it's about time. But why should the L.A. Department of Water and Power limit the amount of solar energy it will buy from customers through 2016 to 100 megawatts? Why not buy all the solar power available? Why can't residential customers sell all the power they generate? Residential customers' meters should simply run backward when they generate more power than they are using, essentially selling it back at the same rate they pay. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/letters/la-le-0118-friday-dwp-solar-20130118,0,7266419.story Climate Change Is Here. How Companies Are Preparing For It. Climate change has arrived. 2012 is in the books as the warmest year on record, and extreme costly weather events are becoming the norm rather than the exception. Against this backdrop, the debate is slowly migrating from partisan wrangling over the existence of climate change to more productive efforts to think creatively about how to prepare for it. My interest here is not to make the case for climate change – many far more knowledgeable than I have already done so…Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/victorlipman/2013/01/22/climate-change-is-here-how-companies-are-preparing-for-it/ Air Quality In China. The ink on the paper with my predictions for China was barely dry when what may become “the” story of 2013 came onto the scene—air quality. If I knew then what I know now, I would have had to have included a discussion about air quality. In the run-up to the Beijing Olympics in 2008, particularly in the three or four months before August, Beijing’s air quality was in the news on a daily basis. While air pollution has remained a nagging problem since then…Posted. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jackperkowski/2013/01/21/air-quality-in-china/ Patrick Michael: Dialing back global warming apocalypse. My greener friends are increasingly troubled by the lack of a rise in recent global surface temperatures. Using monthly data measured as the departure from long-term averages, there's been no significant warming trend since the fall of 1996. In other words, we are now in our 17th year of flat temperatures. Since 1900, the world has seen one other period of similar temperature stagnation (actually a slight cooling) that lasted for 30 years and ended around 1976. Posted. http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/warming-408715-climate-century.html BLOGS E.P.A. Extends Deadline for Navajo Plant’s Pollution Controls. In a bid to clean up one of the nation’s dirtiest coal-fired power plants without causing economic harm to the Navajo Nation that surrounds it, the Environmental Protection Agency indicated on Friday that it would give the plant’s owners five extra years, until 2023, to install expensive state-of-the art emissions reduction equipment. The agency expressed its willingness to extend the deadline by releasing a proposed rule. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/18/e-p-a-extends-deadline-for-navajo-plants-pollution-controls/?hpw Taking a Harder Look at Fracking and Health. A coalition of academic researchers in the United States is preparing to shine a rigorous scientific light on the polarized and often emotional debate over whether using hydraulic fracturing to drill for natural gas is hazardous to human health. Some five years after the controversial combination of fracking and horizontal drilling in the gas-rich Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania and surrounding states got under way…Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/21/taking-a-harder-look-at-fracking-and-health/?pagewanted=print Beijing's Air Pollution Steps Get Poor Reception Among Some In China's Capital. New plans to reduce air pollution in Beijing fell flat on Tuesday, judging by initial online reaction, as the capital's mayor unveiled measures to ease the chronic problem that has triggered growing public anger. The smoggy metropolis' already notorious air pollution hit a record earlier this month, with pollution 30-45 times above recommended safety levels, blanketing Beijing in a thick, noxious cloud that grounded flights and forced people indoors. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/22/beijings-new-air-pollution-china_n_2523742.html