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newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for September 12, 2013. Posted: 12 Sep 2013 15:00:54
ARB Newsclips for September 12, 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 Environmentalists: NY pollution checks declining. New York has reduced pollution inspections more than one-third over the past three years following large staffing cuts, according to a report issued Thursday by an environmental group. Enforcement actions against polluters have dropped almost 25 percent from 2009 to 2012 under federal laws to protect air quality and waterways, Environmental Advocates of New York said. The state Department of Environmental Conservation has federal permit and enforcement authority over 33,000 factories, power generators…Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/09/12/5730679/environmentalists-ny-pollution.html#storylink=cpy San Joaquin Valley gets ozone break, air alert expires for now. The San Joaquin Valley averted a breach of the one-hour federal ozone standard on Monday and Tuesday, and the ozone threat seems to be subsiding for now. An air alert declared from Stockton to Bakersfield expired Wednesday, said leaders at the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2013/09/11/2916064/air-alert-for-valley-expires.html#storylink=cpy http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2013/09/11/3217454/air-alert-for-valley-expires.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/09/11/3492800/air-alert-for-valley-expires.html Bad air still hanging over Merced, rest of the valley. An air-pollution alert expired Wednesday, but Anica Martinez and her children were not breathing any easier. “It’s been really bad this year. My son has been out of school since Monday,” Martinez, 38, said Wednesday. Responding to increasing levels of smog pollution, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution District on Monday issued an air alert and urged residents with breathing conditions to stay indoors. Posted. http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2013/09/11/3217254/bad-air-still-hanging-over-merced.html Study: Redlands power plant is worst polluter in state. Redlands is home to the highest polluting power plant in the state, according to a new study. The Mountain View Power Plant on the city’s northwest side, owned by Southern California Edison, emits about 1.85 million metric tons of carbon dioxide a year, according to a report released Tuesday by the nonprofit Environment California Research and Policy Center. Posted. http://www.sbsun.com/environment-and-nature/20130910/study-redlands-power-plant-is-worst-polluter-in-state DIESEL EMISSIONS MUSD’s 16 buses getting $259,000 air quality retrofit. Sixteen of Manteca Unified School District’s buses will be retrofitted with diesel particulate filters to the tune of $258,571. The money was approved 6-1 by the Board of Trustees at their meeting Tuesday, with Trustee Manuel Medeiros as the lone dissenter. The action of the trustees was to award the job at that amount to A-Z Bus Sales, Inc. of Sacramento which offered the “lowest responsive/responsible” bid for the project. Posted. http://www.mantecabulletin.com/section/1/article/85110/ Landi Renzo receives CARB certification for CNG Fords. Landi Renzo USA has received California Air Resources Board (CARB) certification to sell is dedicated compressed natural gas engine in Ford pickups. The order authorizes Landi Renzo to install its CNG system in 2014 model year Ford F-450, F-550, and F-650 vehicles with the Ford 6.8L engine. Following a previous announcement of EPA bi-fuel certification for the 2014 model year Ford F-250 and F-350…Posted. http://fleetowner.com/running-green/landi-renzo-receives-carb-certification-cng-fords Advanced catalytic converters reduce diesel engine N2O emissions to nearly zero. The latest in catalytic converter technology for diesel engines emits almost none of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide due to its unique chemical structure, according to new research by the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The recently developed artificial catalyst, called Cu-SSZ-13, is found to be highly stable and produce very little nitrous oxide, a climate-forcing pollutant, in the process of burning diesel fuel. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059987112/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY FUELS China bans new coal-fired plants in 3 regions. China announced Thursday that it will ban new coal-fired power plants in three key industrial regions around Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou in its latest bid to combat the country's notorious air pollution. The action plan from the State Council, China's Cabinet, also aims to cut coal's share of the country's total primary energy use to below 65 percent by 2017 and increase the share of nuclear power, natural gas and renewable energy. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_CHINA_POLLUTION_PLAN?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/12/china-coal-pollution-idUSB9N0GS01620130912 RPT-UPDATE 1-Bill to regulate fracking passes California state Assembly. A hotly contested bill that would impose California's first regulations on fracking and other oil production practices passed the state Assembly on Wednesday, despite opposition from environmentalists and oil companies. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the practice of injecting water, sand and chemicals underground to crack rock formations and free up oil and natural gas. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/12/california-fracking-idUSL2N0H80MV20130912 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-12/brown-says-he-ll-sign-california-bill-regulating-fracking.html http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CA_XGR_CALIFORNIA_OIL_DRILLING_CAOL-?SITE=CASON&SECTION=STATE&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-09-11-23-37-56 http://www.sacbee.com/2013/09/11/5728534/jerry-brown-and-california-lawmakers.html http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Bill-regulating-fracking-passes-Assembly-4806988.php http://capitolweekly.net/article.php?_c=11pqx976j8ohgyx&xid=11pquiwxqhcpa5q&done=.11pqxw6tsg8arb5 http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/sep/11/california-assembly-passes-bill-set-fracking-regul/ http://www.eenews.net/energywire/stories/1059987122/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY U.S. coal industry braces for EPA emissions crackdown. The Environmental Protection Agency is due to unveil next week the first batch of regulations under President Barack Obama's new climate action plan - a carbon emissions-rate standard for new fossil fuel power plants. If standards are as strict as the industry expects, it could be the death knell for new coal plant construction. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/12/us-usa-coal-epa-idUSBRE98B0PB20130912 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323864604579069550916021262.html?KEYWORDS=emissions U.S. to Pass Russia in Liquid Fuels Production, Says IEA. IEA Says Oil Demand Picking Up Faster Than Expected. A top energy watchdog forecast the U.S. will bypass Russia in the production of liquid fuels—everything from crude and gasoline to biofuels like ethanol—solidifying America's growing importance in global energy markets. The International Energy Agency said Thursday the U.S. will bypass Russia in the production of all kinds of liquid fuels on average for the third quarter of this year. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323595004579070502233782752.html?KEYWORDS=energy VEHICLES U.S. offers fuel economy, emissions labels for used cars. U.S. car dealers and private sellers may now post window labels on used vehicles that show gas mileage and climate-warming carbon dioxide emissions under a federal government program to help buyers pick out more fuel-efficient second-hand vehicles. Interest in fuel economy has grown amongst U.S. consumers due to more efficient vehicles and higher gas prices but information on miles-per-gallon has been hard to find for buyers looking at used cars at dealerships. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/12/us-usa-auto-fuel-economy-idUSBRE98B0TD20130912 Merkel warns EU against tough CO2 targets for carmakers. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, facing elections in less than two weeks, warned the European Union on Thursday against imposing tough environmental targets on German luxury carmakers, saying they could harm innovation and economic growth. Merkel, tipped to win a third term as chancellor in a September 22 poll, blocked a deal in June that would have set Europe's car industry an ambitious target to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2020. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/12/us-autoshow-frankfurt-merkel-eu-idUSBRE98B0SZ20130912 Volkswagen’s first two production battery-electric vehicles debut at Frankfurt. Volkswagen marked its serious entry into the battery-electric vehicle market with the introduction in Frankfurt of its first two series production EVs: the e-up! and the e-Golf. (Earlier post.) The e-up! is going on sale in mid-October, followed by the e-Golf launch in the spring of 2014 (in Germany). In a talk on the eve of the opening of the show…Posted. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/09/20130911-vw.html GREEN ENERGY Calif. opens solar power to renters, schools and those with homes in shade. California's Legislature yesterday approved the nation's largest program for shared renewable power, allowing renters, schools, cities and many others to invest in green energy projects. The Assembly passed S.B. 43 from Sen. Lois Wolk (D), and the Senate subsequently signed off on amendments added by the lower chamber. The bill now is on its way to the governor. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059987118/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Wood-burning backers join alliance with USDA to give biomass energy a boost. U.S. EPA is carefully crafting a rule that drives how the agency counts carbon emissions from wood energy, and biomass backers are calling for a quick, and fair, consideration from the agency. They would also like the Agriculture Department, which has provided guidance on how to measure biomass carbon emissions, to weigh in. "I think the goal is really to look at this as an energy source, as a source of renewable energy,"…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1059987117/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS Steinberg shelves main environmental measure to aid arena effort. Following last-minute negotiations with the governor, state Sen. President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg shelved his main environmental reform bill Wednesday night, and instead pushed forward with a bulked-up alternative bill – one that includes provisions to assist in development of Sacramento’s downtown arena. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/09/11/5727262/california-judicial-council-opposes.html#storylink=cpy http://www.capradio.org/articles/2013/09/11/ceqa-changes-narrowed,-broader-effort-delayed-(again)/#.UjFYx8mOD50.twitter Bills to free up carpool lanes and protect small businesses head to Gov. Brown. Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) has authored three bills on the way to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. One would free up carpool lanes to all commuters during non-peak hours. If signed, AB 405 would establish a pilot program on freeways such as the 210 and 134, in addition to any others that Caltrans deems appropriate. The program would be in effect from Jan. 1, 2014 to May 21, 2015. Posted. http://www.scpr.org/news/2013/09/11/39204/bills-to-free-up-carpool-lanes-and-protect-small-b/ OPINIONS Lower Gas Prices for the Poor Are Not a Universal Goal. Significantly lower natural-gas prices make solar and wind more inefficient than they already were. The development of market societies is an innovation unrivaled in the reduction of poverty for humankind. It is the very structure of market societies, freed from the impediments of central planning, that fosters more and better poverty-reducing technological developments, like fracking. As pointed out in your editorial "Fracking and the Poor" (Sept. 7), the infusion of lower natural-gas prices into the larger economy is essential to that outcome. Posted. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324549004579066982402771394.html?KEYWORDS=energy Right on: Ban leaf blowers. There is an alternative to leaf blowers: Use vacuums instead. Clients would get a cleaner job each week, and our dirty air would be much cleaner. A recent letter writer was right ("Ban blowers to improve air," Sept. 10). We get a double whammy of bad, dusty air when it is blown into the street and then blown back from traffic. Ever stop to think of how many blowers are used each day, including weekends? Wow! Posted. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/opinion/letters/x740582494/Right-on-Ban-leaf-blowers Dan Morain: Blazing a new trail, Sierra Club risks losing its relevancy. You’d think that the mother of landmark legislation to curb greenhouse gas and reduce tailpipe emissions might be entitled to a little respect from the most well-known environmentalist group of them all. Sen. Fran Pavley is the gray-haired green lawmaker whose name sits atop AB 32, the 2006 bill that requires California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels…Posted. http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2013/09/11/3217815/dan-morain-blazing-a-new-trail.html#storylink=cpy Value in carbon pollution disposal fee. With President Obama’s June directive that the Environmental Protection Agency draft regulations to reduce power plant emissions, industry might consider supporting a broader, more effective approach. First, let’s acknowledge the reality of climate change. It’s manifesting everywhere (8-inch sea rise; ice caps and glaciers receding; warming, acidifying oceans; storms on steroids). Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/sep/12/tp-value-in-carbon-pollution-disposal-fee/ Climate lessons for California from down under. Unlike California, Australia has seen the light and is ripping up its economy-wrecking climate change policies. Conservative Tony Abbott won last weekend’s election, having run on a platform that would scrap Australia's carbon tax. His election brought in a new government that rejects the hype of manmade global warming. Australia will now climb out from under that economy-killing gorilla. Posted. http://www.examiner.com/article/climate-lessons-for-california-from-down-under BLOGS With Subsidies, Frito-Lay Buys Chargers and More Electric Trucks. Frito-Lay, one of the first companies to put modern electric delivery trucks on the road in New York State, is now following up by adding more vehicles and, working with state government, the charging stations to go with them. At a news conference in Albany on Thursday, Frito-Lay and its partner, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, or Nyserda…Posted. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/12/with-subsidies-frito-lay-buys-chargers-and-more-electric-trucks/ Little Love for California Fracking Bill as It Nears Passage. UPDATE: The Senate approved SB 4 on a 28-8 vote Wednesday night. The measure now goes to Governor Jerry Brown, who has said through a spokesman that he will sign the bill. When they're getting grief from all directions for something they've aired or written, reporters like to console themselves with the old saying, "If you're making both sides mad, you must be doing something right." Posted. http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2013/09/11/110875/fracking-bill-caifornia-senate-vote Trans-boundary Ozone's Impact on California Is More than Hot Air. There is no question pollution is adrift in the air. The past couple of days, air quality in the Fresno region of California has been good. Connected to this have been lower temperatures. Daytime temps have been in the 90s. But this is going to change. Temperatures are already starting to warm and by the weekend, they will probably be in the triple digits in most, if not all parts, of the San Joaquin Valley. Posted. http://www.californiaprogressreport.com/site/trans-boundary-ozones-impact-california-more-hot-air?utm_source=Daily+Email+9%2F12%2F13&utm_campaign=09%2F12%2F13+Daily+Email&utm_medium=email 300 Years Is Too Long to Wait for Clean Air in Our National Parks. They read like dates out of the Star Trek television series, not a timeline for restoring clean air to our national parks. But, shockingly, based on the current EPA-approved plans, it will not be until 2276 that the air in North Cascades National Park is returned to its healthy former state, 2163 for Yellowstone National Park and 2127 for the Grand Canyon. This was not supposed to happen. Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/theresa-pierno/300-years-is-too-long-to-_b_3906778.html No, bike lanes don’t hurt retail business. City retailers tend to overestimate the importance of parking to their business. They fail to see the many downsides of free parking (congestion and low shopper turnover, among them). They believe more people arrive at the store by car than actually do. They may not even realize that while driving customers spend more per visit, non-drivers spend as much or more in the long term. Posted. http://grist.org/cities/no-bike-lanes-dont-hurt-retail-business-2/ 2013 Nissan e-NV200 taxi will carry Catalunians quietly beginning next year. The Nissan e-NV200, currently in the final phases of testing with FedEx fleets in various countries, will be getting more demanding cargo next year in Barcelona when it goes into service as a taxi. Unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show by Carlos Ghosn and with the mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, in attendance, the e-NV200 is the van slightly reworked into a unique design and resting on a Leaf electric powertrain. Posted. http://www.autoblog.com/2013/09/12/2013-nissan-e-nv200-taxi-frankfurt-2013/