Environmental news from a California perspective. Comments appreciated but keep it civil. Otherwise, expect to be banned.
Most people associate Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley with
smoggy air, little rain, and uncomfortably high temperatures, oftentimes
exceeding 100 °F for weeks at a time. However, as those of us who live
in the Valley know, wintertime temperatures can be very cold, many times
approaching or even going below the freezing mark, especially at night.
Those cold temperatures cause us to not only dress warmly, but also
to use other sources of heat, either to remain comfortable inside our
houses, while working in our garages, or sometimes when doing outdoor
activities, like camping. These sources include natural gas fired water
heaters, wood or gas burning fireplaces, gas cooking appliances, and at
times, portable electricity generators powered by gasoline. One of the
dangers of using all of these different pieces of equipment stems from a
very dangerous combustion product that forms when gas, wood, or
gasoline is burned. That product is carbon monoxide.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that it is recommending a more stringent federal smog (ozone)
standard for ambient air quality. Based upon an analysis of the latest
scientific research on the effects of ozone on human health and the environment,
EPA is proposing to lower the 8-hour standard from its current level of
75 parts per billion (ppb) to somewhere in the range of 65 - 70 ppb.
EPA is also considering lowering the limit to a level as low as 60 ppb.
L'Oreal USA S/D Inc. has just paid a $146,500 fine for selling products that didn't meet air quality regulations, according to an announcement by the California Air Resources Board (ARB)
today. The explanation for the penalty is sure to support arguments
made by many that California's regulatory climate is out of control and
not friendly to business.
Here's a new feature, in case you aren't a subscriber or just
happened to miss last week's Bakersfield Environmental News articles. We
wrote about a variety of things - reformulated gasoline, hazardous
waste disposal, recycling grants, indoor air pollution at gyms, and vernal pool destruction.
Below are short briefs of each topic, with a link to each article for further reading.
Remember, to ensure you don't miss any future articles, just hit the SUBSCRIBE TO AUTHOR button below and you will be notified of every new one. It's absolutely free too!
California's Air Resources Board (ARB) announced yesterday
that it has fined three gasoline suppliers for gasoline that did not
comply with California's air quality regulations. Houston-based Vitol,
Inc., Petro-Diamond of Irvine, and Shell Oil Products US were fined
$70,000, $50,000, and $45,000 respectively.
Telecommunications giant AT&T agreed to a $51.8 million settlement
with the State of California to resolve charges that employees at
hundreds of its California facilities illegally disposed of hazardous waste and other materials for nine years. The settlement was jointly announced
yesterday by California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and Alameda
County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley. This is the first
enforcement action in California against a telecommunications company
for its management of electronic waste.
Three San Joaquin Valley recycling businesses and five other state firms
will share $19.5 million in newly established greenhouse gas reduction
(GHG) grants, according to an announcement from the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)
on Wednesday, November 18, 2014. The monies will be used to construct
or expand new and existing facilities, and to upgrade equipment to allow
the processing of more recycled materials.
Many residents of Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley, concerned
about their health and physical fitness, hit the gym several times a
week to get into or maintain their shape. Be it running on a treadmill,
trudging up and down on a stair climbing machine, taking a spin class,
or simply lifting weights, going to the gym has become a frequent habit
for the healthy minded. However, except for the occasional turned-up
nose when encountering a fellow gym member who, shall we say, has less
than perfect personal hygiene, most people give little thought to the
quality of the air that they breathe inside the gym when they workout.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced
that it has penalized the owner of a proposed almond orchard for
destroying nearly 33 acres of wetlands near Merced, California. Edward
Lynn Brown, from Oakdale, California, who does business as California Healthy Harvest,
a wholesaler of canned foods and nuts in Modesto, Stanislaus County,
California, was fined $160,000. According to EPA's press release, he was
also ordered to purchase and endow a conservation easement worth $1
million as part of the settlement.
Bakersfield residents looking for a way to recycle household items no longer of use to them should head to the Rabobank Arena in downtown Bakersfield this Saturday, November 15, 2014. A free recycling event will be held in the arena's south parking lot between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Rabobank is partnering with America Recycles Day
as part of a nationwide effort to help people recycle things they don't
need anymore instead of throwing them away in the trash.
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced today that Chevron Corp. has been fined $329,700 for the sale of illegally reformulated gasoline at its Montebello and Richmond,
California terminals. The violations were for exceeding the oxygenate
limit of 10 percent specified in state regulations for oxygenated
gasoline. From 2010 through 2011, Chevron sold over 4.4 million gallons of the illegal fuel.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice today announced
the largest Clean Air Act settlement in history. Hyundai Motor Company,
Kia Motors Corporation, and their United States affiliates Hyundai
Motor America, Kia Motors America, and Hyundai America Technical
Center, Inc. will pay over $300 million in fines and other penalties
resulting from testing and certification violations of vehicles sold in
America. The violations led to incorrect fuel economy and greenhouse gas
emission data related to the sale of approximately 1.2 million