EJToday: Top Headlines
EJToday is SEJ's selection of new and outstanding stories on environmental topics in print and on the air, updated every weekday. SEJ also offers a free e-mailed digest of the day's EJToday postings, called SEJ-beat. SEJ members are subscribed automatically, but may opt out here. Non-members may subscribe here. EJToday is also available via RSS feed. Please see Editorial Guidelines for EJToday content.
"Gov. Jerry Brown urged state regulators Monday to reduce the prevalence of chemical flame retardants in household furniture, joining a growing number of critics who argue the chemicals are toxic and unnecessary."
"Faulty computer modeling caused the equipment problems that are expected to keep the San Onofre nuclear plant dark through the summer, federal regulators said Monday."
"State contractors are to drain and reshape the polluted Malibu Lagoon. Activists, who say the project would destroy the salt marsh and flatten Surfrider Beach's waves, pledge to stand in the way."
"A new study looking at key aquifers beneath the Great Plains and California's Central Valley suggests that areas of Texas and Kansas are drawing groundwater at an unsustainable rate."
"SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, Calif. -- The California forest that is home to the biggest and oldest living things on earth, the giant Sequoia redwoods, also suffers a dubious distinction. It has the worst air pollution of any national park in the U.S."
"Los Angeles became the largest city in the nation Wednesday to approve a ban on plastic bags at supermarket checkout lines, handing a major victory to clean-water advocates who sought to reduce the amount of trash clogging landfills, the region's waterways and the ocean."
"Kathy Omachi was eating at McDonald's in Reedley [Calif.] recently, and she counted 51 gravel trucks pass by -- all in the time she finished a hamburger and fruit smoothie. The lifelong resident of this farming town, which is southeast of Fresno and within a few miles of three rock quarries, fears that even more trucks, with their dirty exhaust, will be on the road if nearby mining is expanded."
"You may think of surfers as slackers. But in Santa Cruz, Calif., they're city council members and business owners. And they're also conservationists — who just got their piece of the central California coast named a World Surfing Reserve."
"Long before surf music topped the charts and long before surfers had crazy nicknames, surfers have been riding the waves in Santa Cruz.
"For a good part of its rich history, residents of unincorporated Allensworth, the first African American colony west of the Mississippi, have gone without a reliable supply of safe drinking water."
This is still the case today, where the Tulare County community's wells -- which provide water to the neighboring Colonel Allensworth State Historical Park that commemorates the area's legacy -- exceed federal levels for arsenic.
"Serious safety violations at power plants go uncorrected because regulators have never used their formal enforcement powers, the California Public Utilities Commission stated in a budget request being considered by legislators."
"Some worry that a water-diversion deal, sending farm irrigation water to sprawling San Diego, will spell doom for the Salton Sea – and exposure to toxins for humans and wildlife. Others say protections are in place to ensure that can't happen."
"SAN DIEGO — There are accusations of conspiracies, illegal secret meetings and double-dealing. Embarrassing documents and e-mails have been posted on an official Web site emblazoned with the words 'Fact vs. Fiction.' Animosities have grown so deep that the players have resorted to exchanging lengthy, caustic letters, packed with charges of lying and distortion. And it is all about water."
Harbor porpoises began disappearing from San Francisco Bay during the height of Navy ship activity there during World War II. "We don't know why they disappeared. … It's very possible that they just abandoned the place because it became too hard to feed, reproduce and raise their young," said William Keener, a co-investigator and spokesman with the nonprofit Golden Gate Cetacean Research group. "Then all of a sudden, the porpoises were back."
"A 1974 memo from Dow Chemical describes several chemicals in a widely used farm fumigant as 'garbage.' Today, one of those useless chemicals threatens drinking water for more than 1 million people across the San Joaquin Valley. Now linked to cancer, the toxin was waste from a plastic-making process. Chemical companies often mix such leftovers to create other products to avoid the cost of disposal, says one long-time chemical engineer."