The New York Times – March 31
The Biden administration said Thursday it would stand by a Trump-era decision and not impose drinking water limits on perchlorate, a contaminant that has been linked to brain damage in infants. The US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement shocked public health advocates who had denounced the Trump administration in 2020 for choosing not to regulate the chemical. The EPA said it will take further steps, such as implementing new monitoring tools and doing more to clean up contaminated sites, “to ensure that public health is protected from perchlorate in water. drinkable”. The decision does not affect state standards for the chemical. California and Massachusetts, for example, have set their own limits for perchlorate in drinking water.
Los Angeles Times – March 28
On the heels of the driest start to the year in California history, Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday issued a sweeping executive order calling on local water providers to implement more aggressive conservation measures as Water levels in reservoirs are falling and residents are backing down in their efforts to reduce . The ordinance requires city water providers to activate “Level 2” of their locally tailored emergency plans, which means they must prepare for a shortage of up to 20%. The order also introduces measures to address an increase in well drilling in California’s Central Valley and directs state regulators to consider a ban on watering decorative grasses on businesses and public properties, among other places. measures.
The Maritime Executive – March 25
Continuing its efforts to limit emissions from vessels operating in ports around the state and near the coast, the California Air Resources Board last Thursday approved updates to its commercial harbor craft regulations aimed at reducing emissions from diesel soot and nitrogen oxides from commercial harbor craft, including tugs and ferries. The amendments were passed over objections from industries that rely on these vessels, including sport fishing. The new amendments affect all categories of commercial harbor craft and set the first emission standards for commercial fishing passenger vessels, pilot vessels, tank barges over 400 feet, workboats and research vessels.
Voices of Silicon Valley – March 25
An environmental justice group has sued the Port of Oakland in Alameda County Superior Court, accusing the port of failing to properly analyze how the construction of an open-air sand and gravel plant could harm the health of residents from dust and particulates, and to identify mitigation measures to reduce these impacts. The Harbor Board of Commissioners last month approved a 12-year lease allowing Eagle Rock Aggregates to build the facility on 18 acres. The company plans to store and distribute sand used for ready-mixed concrete in Bay Area construction projects.
The Almanac – March 28
Following a March 9 fire at Sims Metal’s 12-acre Redwood City recycling and shredding facility, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) issued an order Monday enforcement requiring the facility to investigate the extent to which its operations may have caused contamination in the area – not just from the fire, but from its overall operations – and to clean it up. DTSC’s March 24 order requires Sims to deal with pollutants from the facility, including dangerous levels of lead, zinc and copper, which DTSC says may have migrated to adjacent bay waters and causing health effects in nearby properties, including daycare centers and schools. The DTSC order says it has taken similar action against recyclers and metal shredders across the state.
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