Los Angeles Times – November 16
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) released a scoping plan Wednesday that outlines how the state plans to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade and ultimately eliminate its carbon footprint. The plan, which will be formally reviewed by CARB in December, hinges on the widespread adoption of zero-emission vehicles, as the transportation sector remains the largest single source of carbon emissions in California. State officials predict that switching to clean vehicles will lead to lower demand for oil and lower emissions from refineries, the main source of emissions in the industrial sector. The plan also relies on refineries and cement plants to implement a technology called carbon capture and storage, which involves capturing emissions from smokestacks and funneling them underground.
Los Angeles Daily News – November 15th
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday created a new county department aimed at helping local communities affected by climate change and industrial pollution. The Office of Environmental Justice and Climate Health, which will be derived from the county Department of Public Health, will develop a strategy to address environmental pollution, which disproportionately affects low-income communities and people of color, they said the supervisors. Areas of concern include communities exposed to highway traffic and air pollutants. The agency will collect data and hold industries accountable for environmental degradation or potential public health hot spots, according to Fourth District Supervisor Janice Hahn.
San Francisco Chronicle – November 18th
The California Coastal Commission on Thursday approved a proposed desalination plant for the drought-stricken Monterey Peninsula amid growing controversy over the role desalination should play in addressing water shortages across the state. The project, which would draw seawater off the coast of the city of Marina (Monterey County), has exposed both the wonder of creating fresh water from the ocean and the many problems associated with the technology, which include environmental impacts , energy consumption and costs. Ultimately, the Coastal Commission’s board decided that the benefits of a new water supply outweighed the disadvantages of the proposal.
The Orange County Register – November 9th
A federal appeals court said three oil companies are required to repay the US Environmental Protection Agency nearly $50 million in cleanup costs at the McColl Superfund site in Fullerton. The Nov. 7 ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds a 2021 lower court decision ordering Union Oil Co. of California, Atlantic Richfield Co., and Texaco Inc. to reimburse the costs of removing 97,100 cubic feet of toxic waste at the 22-acre plant site. The three oil companies have argued on appeal that the federal government is financially responsible for a portion of the cleanup costs.
Associated Press – November 17
U.S. regulators on Thursday approved a plan to demolish four dams on a California river in what will be the largest dam removal and river restoration project in the world when it goes forward. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s unanimous vote on the lower Klamath River dams is the latest major regulatory hurdle and biggest milestone for a $500 million demolition proposal championed for years by Native American tribes and conservationists. The project would return the lower half of California’s second-largest river to free-flowing status for the first time in more than a century and open up hundreds of miles of salmon habitat. Power from the dams provided just 2 percent of the power generated by PacifiCorp, which the company says will be replaced by other renewable energy projects.
San Francisco Chronicle – November 10th
Three of California’s largest water suppliers, including the city of San Francisco, announced Thursday they had reached a compromise with state regulators in the latest breakthrough in a years-long effort to protect flows in California’s rivers, a once grandiose but increasingly flooded. The toll on waterways, where up to 90% of water is pumped into cities and farms, has been exacerbated by drought, putting legendary salmon streams and other plants and animals at risk. Under new voluntary agreements, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission joins two Central Valley water agencies, the Turlock and Modesto Irrigation Districts, in efforts to reduce withdrawals and restore wildlife habitat in the Tuolumne River , one of the most depleted rivers in the state.
Court News Service – November 16
U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar on Wednesday granted requests from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service to allow the Biden administration to reconsider changes to the Endangered Species Act ( ESA) federal law from the Trump administration while battling a trio of lawsuits from environmentalists and state and local governments who challenged the 2019 revision of the law. The court left the changes to the ESA intact for now, ruling which could not be cleared before he ruled on the merits of the environmentalists’ claims. Challengers argue that the 2019 changes significantly weakened ESA, because they allow agencies to consider economic factors when deciding whether to list species for protection under ESA, and make it more difficult to protect areas where it is not found. endangered wildlife.
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