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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Environmental Week in Review, November 23 - 30, 2014

Continuing with our new feature, Environmental Week in Review, here is a summary of what we wrote about last week in Bakersfield Environmental News. As expected with the Thanksgiving holiday, maybe we were a little too busy with cooking preparations (and then eating activities!) and the number of articles wasn't too high. But, please take a look at this in case you aren't a subscriber or just happened to miss last week's articles. We wrote about a variety of things - safety tips to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning indoors, a new photochemical smog (ozone) standard proposed by EPA that could be more stringent than California's standard, and a $146,500 fine L’Oreal USA received for a technical violation of rules applicable to consumer hair products.

Read the article at the following link for more information:

Photo © Frank Maccioli

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Indoor Air Pollution: Carbon Monoxide

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.

Read more at the link below:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

EPA proposes more stringent smog standard, will impact San Joaquin Valley

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.

Read more at the link below:

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy

Monday, November 24, 2014

L’Oreal USA fined $146,500 for illegal, air polluting hair care products

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.

Read more at the link below:

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Environmental week in review, November 16 - 22, 2014

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!

Here is what we reported on last week:

Friday, November 21, 2014

ARB fines 3 more companies for illegal gasoline

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.

Read more at the link below:

Telecom giant AT&T penalized $51.8 million for hazardous waste violations

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.

Read more at the link below:

California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris

Valley recycling firms to get CalRecycle grants to reduce GHG emissions

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.

Read more at the link below:

Thursday, November 20, 2014

New study warns of unhealthy indoor air pollution at the gym

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.

Read more at the link below:

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Modesto almond farmer learns the hard way not to ignore environmental laws

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.

Read more at the link below:

Thursday, November 13, 2014

America Recycles Day event at Bakersfield's Rabobank Arena this Saturday

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.

Read more at the link below:

Monday, November 10, 2014

Chevron fined $329,700 by ARB for sales of illegal gasoline

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.

Read more at the link below:

Monday, November 03, 2014

Hyundai and Kia to pay largest fine in Clean Air Act history

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 vehicles.

Read more at the link below: