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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

ARB to honor winners of 2014 Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced yesterday that it will be holding a special ceremony on Thursday for the three winners of the 2014 Haagen-Smit Clean Air Award. The award is given to those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to improving air quality.

Read more at the link below:

Thursday, June 4, 2015

EPA report says fracking has not led to widespread drinking water impacts

In an announcement sure to please the oil and gas industry and enrage hydraulic fracturing (fracking) opponents, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released a draft assessment on the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water in the United States. EPA found that fracking activities across the country have not led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources. The report is sure to provide ammunition against those hoping to impose fracking bans across the country, including those pressuring California Governor Jerry Brown and California's oil industry, a major employer here in Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley.

Read more at the link below:

Thursday, May 28, 2015

ARB announces plan to help low income LA & Valley residents buy electric cars

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) will be helping low income residents of the Los Angeles area and the San Joaquin Valley purchase electric or hybrid vehicles. In an announcement released yesterday, ARB said the Enhanced Fleet Modernization Program and Plus-Up Pilot Project (EFMP) will provide cash vouchers for those who meet eligibility requirements and wish to replace or scrap their older, dirtier vehicles for cleaner, more fuel efficient ones or public transit vouchers.

Read more at the link below:

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

EPA officially orders Plains All American Pipeline to clean up Refugio oil spill

Today the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Coast Guard officially ordered Plains All American Pipeline to clean up the Refugio Beach oil spill caused by a failure of its nearby pipeline. The joint order, authorized under the Clean Water Act, serves to ensure that Plains will continues its work inland, on the beach, and in the ocean, to contain the oil and prevent further shoreline contamination. The order establishes federally enforceable timelines and cleanup requirements for the long-term response action that will be required.

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EPA awards $192,300 environmental jobs training grant to Fresno group

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it has awarded a $192,300 grant for environmental jobs training to a Fresno employment, education, and training service organization. The Fresno Regional Workforce Investment Board (FRWIB) will use the funds to train 70 students and place at least 60 graduates in environmental related jobs. The environmental fields that will use the workers include recycling, solid waste management, wastewater treatment, pest control, and hazardous waste cleanup.

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Plains responds to media criticism of its safety record and Refugio oil spill

Plains All American Pipeline Company, L.P., has responded to media criticism of its safety record and lack of automatic shutoff valves in a pipeline that spilled 2,500 barrels of crude oil, despoiling the Santa Barbara coast and adjoining ocean waters. The spill occurred on May 19, 2015, when crude oil escaped from an apparently broken pipeline, flowed through a culvert under Highway 101, and onto Refugio beach. The affected coastline has been closed to the public and an intensive cleanup and wildlife rescue operation is currently underway.

Read more at the link below:


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Plains oil spill in Santa Barbara reveals some interesting information

On Tuesday morning, May 19, 2015, something happened to an onshore pipeline belonging to Plains All American Pipeline Company, LP., near Santa Barbara, CA. Approximately 2,500 barrels of crude oil was released from what has been reported to be a break in that pipeline. The oil flowed into a nearby storm drain culvert that went under California Highway 101 and made its way to Refugio Beach, contaminating both the beach and the Pacific Ocean.

However, a review of several media reports, statements from the pipeline owner, government officials, other oil company representatives, and others has revealed some interesting responses and tidbits of information that all will be factored into explaining the event, minimizing the chances of it happening again, and determining the ultimate responsibility, fines, and resultant costs. It may also help to influence the future of energy development and usage in Santa Barbara County and elsewhere.

Read more at the link below:

Friday, May 22, 2015

California closes in on ban of plastic microbeads in consumer products

California lawmakers, never shy when addressing environmental problems, have their sights set on another ecosystem problem – the use of plastic microbeads in beauty and personal care products. A bill that would ban the use of such materials in California, AB-888 (Bloom), has been making its way through the California Assembly. Today, after its third reading, the bill was passed on a 55-18 vote.


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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Governor Brown signs historic GHG agreement today with other world leaders

California Governor Jerry Brown continued to establish his legacy as a champion for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) today when he signed an historic, first-of-its-kind agreement with leaders from 11 other states and countries across the world.

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Doosan Infracore Company fined $647,500 for violating air pollution regs

Another engine manufacturing company has run afoul of California's stringent air pollution regulations and has agreed to pay a significant fine as a result. South Korean based Doosan Infracore Company Ltd. illegally made field modifications to previously certified compressed natural gas (CNG) motor vehicle engines in violation of California's Health & Safety Code. The penalty, $647,500, was announced today by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) although the actual settlement was signed in October of last year.

Read more at the link below:

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Randy’s Trucking, Inc., given largest ever fine for violating truck regulations

A trucking firm based in Taft, CA has just received the largest air pollution fine ever issued by California for violating the state’s landmark Truck and Bus Regulation. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced yesterday that Randy’s Trucking, Inc., has agreed to pay $524,675 for violating requirements designed to reduce harmful diesel emissions into the atmosphere.

The company will pay a portion of the penalty, $392,755, to the state’s Air Pollution Control Fund to support air quality research. The remaining $130,920 will be paid to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) to aid in the cleanup of school bus fleets throughout the state.

Read more at the link below:

Thursday, May 7, 2015

EPA issues NOV for oil terminal permits, blasting the SJVAPCD in the process

Anti-oil groups and environmental activists were overjoyed recently with the news that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Notice of Violation to the Bakersfield Crude Terminal and its owners/operators for violating the Clean Air Act. EPA said that the Taft, CA, facility, which was designed to receive crude oil by rail, had obtained invalid Authorities to Construct and Permits to Operate from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (APCD). Additionally, EPA said that emission offsets and Best Available Control technology were not required by the APCD, blasting the local agency for an inadequate and incorrect permit review/issuance process.

However, in an e-mailed response today to an inquiry from, an APCD representative strongly disputed EPA's charges, stating that EPA did not properly investigate the facts and nor did it even contact the APCD to discuss its analysis of the project before issuing the NOV.

Read more at the link below:

Thursday, April 30, 2015

American Lung Association 2015 report shows Valley has worst air in the nation.

The American Lung Association released its State of the Air 2015 report yesterday and once again, the news is not good for residents of Bakersfield and other San Joaquin Valley cities. Except for ozone concentrations (Los Angeles/Long Beach was the worst), San Joaquin Valley cities had the top four worst ratings for short-term particle pollution (24-hour PM 2.5) and year-round particle pollution (Annual PM 2.5). As for ozone, Valley cities were the second, third, fourth, and eighth worst in the nation.

Read more at the link below:

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

ARB holding oil and gas industry GHG emission control workshop today

As previously announced, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) will hold the first of two workshops on a proposed new regulation to address the control of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the Oil & Gas industry. Today’s workshop begins at 1:30 p.m. in Sacramento and is available via webcast.

Read more at the link below:

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The devil is in the details as Bakersfield adopts emergency water ordinance

The Bakersfield City Council adopted an emergency water ordinance at a public hearing last night that restricts the use of water for lawns and landscaping. The effective date of the ordinance (the date the new restrictions become applicable) is today. Residents who violate the new restrictions will be subject to misdemeanors and/or monetary penalties.

Read more at the link below:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

EPA Awards $1.3 Million to the Port of Los Angeles for an electric-drive crane

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that it has awarded a $1.3 million grant to the City of Los Angeles Harbor Department. The funds will be used to replace an older, 950-horsepower, diesel cargo crane with a new, zero-emission electric-drive crane. The 110-foot crane will be used to unload and process scrap metal on and off moving containers for overseas shipments.

Read more at the link below:

The best music videos about the environment

Tomorrow is Earth Day.

Shown below are some of the best music videos that deal with the environment. The videos aren’t ranked from worst to best or presented in a Top Ten format. They touch upon themes of urban sprawl, climate change, air and water pollution, and even nuclear holocaust.

This is undoubtedly an incomplete list and some of the videos, in particular those from artists in the 70s, are merely recorded versions of live performances. However, the lyrics and music of all of them have powerful messages for each of us.

Included with each description is a link to a YouTube video of the song. Click on the link below to see if your favorite is shown.