Central Valley fares poorly in new California pollution index

Central Valley communities are among the hardest hit in California under a unique new misery index that provides statewide mapping on community pollution, health and well-being.

The state Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday unveiled a new environmental screening tool that reveals – by ZIP code – how neighborhoods are affected by pesticides, truck fumes, hazardous waste and other toxic factors.

 

California’s environmental laws: Job creators, not job killers

Who knew that being a smoggy place might be good for business?

Gov. Jerry Brown is in China, and one of the things he’s pitching is California’s expertise in dealing with smog. Because if there’s one thing we have in common with the Chinese, it’s air pollution.

Now, some of what Brown is doing is, well, kind of squishy. As my colleague Anthony York reported:

On Wednesday, he held a private meeting with Environmental Protection Minister Zhou Shengxian. They signed a nonbinding agreement “to enhance cooperation on reducing air pollution,” the first such accord between China’s government and a U.S. state and one of several Brown is scheduled to secure while here.

Under the pact, California will help China set up institutions to regulate air quality, similar to those the state has established, and the two nations will engage in research projects “of mutual interest.”

Air Pollution From Traffic Linked With Childhood Cancer

There is a link between exposure to traffic pollution during pregnancy and risk of childhood cancer, according to a new study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, found that women who were exposed to high levels of traffic pollution (emissions from cars and trucks) while they were pregnant also had higher risks of their children going on to develop pediatric cancers, including acute lymphoblastic leukemia and retinoblastoma.

Southern California air regulators adopt fracking rules

In the absence of statewide regulations for hydraulic fracturing, Southern California air-quality officials have enacted their own reporting rules for the controversial extraction process driving the country’s oil and gas boom.

On Friday, the governing board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District adopted a rulethat requires oil companies to notify the air agency 10 days to 24 hours before beginning drilling operations, including “fracking,” which involves injecting large volumes of chemical-laced water and sand deep into the ground to break apart rock and release oil.

California Energy Commission awards more than $5.5M for green transportation

The California Energy Commissionannounced yesterday, March 20, 2013, that it has approved $5,580,773 for clean-energy transportation projects in California. The projects include biofuels production and those related to reducing emissions from trucks.

If the projects are successful, they should help reduce transportation sector emissions which are the largest component of air pollution in Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley. Those emissions significantly contribute to the area having some of the worst air quality in the United States.

Valero plans repairs for California refinery

Valero Energy Corp. has notified California environmental officials that it will need to flare gases at its Wilmington refinery for the next two days.

Valero is required to notify the South Coast Air Quality Management District, an air pollution control agency, whenever it needs to conduct flaring that would exceed daily limits. The flaring will be necessary while repair work is being conducted on a valve at a storage facility.