Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Green SoCal Headlines: Bold Plans for S.D. Station

Bold Plans for San Diego Station
Summary: At ULI's California High Speed Rail TOD Marketplace, designers presented ambitious plans for San Diego’s proposed Lindbergh Field train station/airport multimodal transit center.

Target Illegally Dumped Hazardous Goods, Claim CA Prosecutors
Summary: The city of Los Angeles and California state prosecutors allege that Target illegally dumped hazardous consumer products that were returned or damaged, according to a preliminary injunction against the retail chain store, reports Los Angeles Times. Prosecutors are seeking civil penalties against the retailer.

Mayor Villaraigosa discusses 30/10 Initiative with Senate committee today
Summary: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa today testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, chaired by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), on the need for new transportation financing tools, with the Mayor’s 30/10 initiative as a model for federal-local partnership.

Stop bellyaching cities! Follow L.A.’s example on building for the future
Summary: There is an excellent model of innovative transportation funding that we can all learn from if we look to our friends on the West Coast, where Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is championing the 30/10 Initiative.

Water Use in Southwest Heads for a Day of Reckoning
Summary: A once-unthinkable day is looming on the Colorado River. Barring a sudden end to the Southwest’s 11-year drought, the distribution of the river’s dwindling bounty is likely to be reordered as early as next year because the flow of water cannot keep pace with the region’s demands.

Prop. 23 to be focus of candidates forum
Summary: A ballot measure that would suspend clean-air legislation until the state's jobless rate falls will likely be the main issue at an Oct. 2 candidates forum in San Diego.

Profit and recycled plastic at Opportunity Green conference downtown
Summary: On Thursday, Avatar actress Michelle Rodriguez, solar-powered vehicles, basketball star Shaquille O’Neal and eco-friendly bento boxes collided in downtown Los Angeles.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Green SoCal News Roundup: The Greening of Chicago

Chicago takes the LEED in eco building
Summary: Chicago has the highest number of LEED-certified buildings in the United States, the highest square footage of green rooftops, and a longstanding commitment to green building.

World's largest solar plant wins key approval
Summary: The world's largest solar power plant cleared an important hurdle on Wednesday, laying the groundwork for a dramatic expansion in solar energy generation in the United States and around the world.

Local agencies can't limit train emissions, court rules
Summary: U.S. 9th Circuit panel says Southern California air quality board can't impose restrictions that could interfere with interstate commerce.

Japan Offers California Loan for $40 Billion High-Speed Train
Summary: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger rode one of Japan’s fastest trains today after the nation’s transport minister offered loans to support the state’s more than $40 billion high-speed rail project.

Fighting Prop. 23 one phone call at a time
Summary: An activist with the Communities for a Better Environment takes on Big Oil over delaying the state's global warming law.

California Grid Can Handle 20% Renewables - ISO Study
Summary: California's electric grid is capable of integrating a 20% renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS) by 2012, according to a study released by the California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO).

California wants 1 million electric vehicles on roads by 2020
Summary: California wants 1 million battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles on the Golden State's roadways in a decade.

California Adopts Ambitious Renewable Energy Target
Summary: California regulators approved a rule that would require the state’s utilities to get a third of their power from solar, wind or other renewable sources by 2020, the most ambitious standard in the U.S., Bloomberg News reports.

Fight over bid to suspend California's global warming law gets ugly
Summary: The fight over Proposition 23, a November ballot initiative to suspend California's global warming law, turned ugly this week, with personal attacks and emotionally charged rhetoric on both sides.

Fight to Derail AB32 Could Spill Into Courts – Outside California
Summary: This emerging threat being launched from across the Rockies (funding for Prop 23 is flowing from Texas and Kansas, via Koch Industries) will only embolden efforts to fight Prop 23, which are getting organized all across the state.

Bike Movement Grows in LA, Beyond
Summary: Cyclists thrive where autos rule: Los Angeles, where smog and freeway
have hitherto defined a lifestyle. Ingrid Lobet reports for Living on
Earth/Public Radio International, with photos by Gary Cavanagh.

Fresh & Easy Opens First Store with CO2 Refrigeration
Summary: Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has opened its first grocery store in Southern California to use naturally-occurring carbon-dioxide (CO2) refrigeration. The store, located in Rosemead, also is the grocery store chain’s first to be certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Partnership.

California bags the plastic bag ban but makes solar leap
Summary: On Thursday, the California Public Utilities Commission signed off on 650 megawatts of new solar energy contracts and programs.

Initiative to suspend state climate law gets $1 million
Summary: An oil company headed by conservative billionaires David and Charles Koch has contributed $1 million to the campaign to suspend the state's landmark climate change law.

Supervisors ban foam food containers at most L.A. County facilities
Summary: The products — which can last 100 years and often end up in storm drains, killing birds and marine mammals — will be banned at county hospitals, golf courses and concessions. Jails will probably be exempt.

Q&A: Arbour Realty's Genevieve Concannon and Adam Gallegos

Green D.C. recently participated in an email Q&A with Arbour Realty Founder Adam Gallegos and Director of Business Development Genevieve Concannon. They provide readers with insight into the emerging field of green real estate and Arbour Realty's efforts as the first sustainable real estate company in the D.C. area.

Green D.C.: What is Arbour Realty and what is a green real estate company?

Arbour Realty: Arbour Realty is the DC area's first green real estate firm and now the leader in technology and social media innovation in the real estate community. This means that Arbour Realty is founded on green living and sustainable principles, teams up with ecobroker professionals and employs advanced technology and social media into their real estate platform. What this means for their clients is that they have highly educated agents on their side who understand the market, the importance of energy efficiency and healthy living in the homes. Meanwhile, the Arbour Realty team is aggressively approaching the social media market with very relevant blogs, tips and community information. We are constantly seeking out the latest and greatest technology that will enable our clients to have an even more seamless transaction while remaining as conscious of our carbon footprint as possible.

GDC: Why was Arbour Realty started in this tough real estate market?

AR: Adam Gallegos, the founder of Arbour Realty already had a strong following of referral based real estate business. This foundation provided him with the confidence to break off from Re/Max (a recognized real estate brand) to start local firm, Arbour Realty. Adam felt strongly about creating an environmentally responsible business and could tell that the real estate industry is entering a major evolution. The distinction between “green” and “not green” is dissolving. Demand for more efficient, healthier homes is causing new home builders and home renovation companies to change the way they have been doing this since they entered the business. We see this happening very quickly with commercial real estate and residential is not far behind. You wouldn’t think about investing in a new commercial building if it was not going to be built to LEED standards. USA Today today recently reported that green building now accounts for 1/3 of new U.S. Construction. As more consumers demand a real estate team that can help them find more efficient healther homes, Arbour Realty is becoming the firm of choice in the DC area.

GDC: What sets Arbour Realty apart from other real estate companies in the D.C. Area?

AR: Arbour Realty stands on the forefront of real estate brokerages in the DC metro area because we are constantly striving for the latest technology for our clients. We have an incredibly user friendly website that enables clients and shoppers to view communities and do their due diligence before they even get started on their search. We use paperless office systems such as docusign to encourage time and paper saving techniques, we staff only ecobroker agents, and even have some LEED certified professionals on our team. Our agents are able to give their clients intimate knowledge of green building, healthy living and current market conditions to better guide their clients through their real estate transactions. Above all, Arbour Realty was selected out of thousands of real estate brokerages to be better homes and gardens real estate brokerage to watch for the Mid-Atlantic region due to all of the amazing technology that we incorporate into our business. We are also a gold certified green business, and are highly active in community building by putting on local lectures, promoting community involvement and offering a more consultative approach to the real estate process.

GDC: What is an ecobroker and what sort of education is required to be a certified agent?

AR: Ecobrokers are agents who have gone through extensive training to understand green building principles and healthy living practices. There is a strict curriculum outlined by the now eight year old program that ensures that ecobroker agents have the knowledge of environmentally sensitive issues, green building, comfort and health issues; all of these things marry into a strong agent who can effectively educate and guide their client to the best home for their needs. These agents, such as those on our team, are, again, able to guide their clients to cost effective, energy efficient homes that they will be healthy and comfortable in. Armed with this knowledge and the knowledge of their own market, ecobroker agents can really help their client understand what it means to live a healthy lifestyle, and own a home that is energy efficient and hopefully, in the long run, will have a greater return on their investment.

GDC: What criteria do you use to select your vendors?

AR: We incorporate vendor partners who are also led by a green commitment in their business practices, for instance, we partner with green living consulting to provide actionable healthy living plans for our clients once they are in their home. Green living consulting is founded on the same principles as Arbour Realty in that the owners practice what they preach, and are hugely active in the educational community. We also work with vendors whom we have done actual projects with, and feel that their integrity and value are unrivaled and really mirror our own core values.

GDC: What is green about your business practices?

AR: We have a green commitment that we would love for you to take a look at that outlines a very good portion of the reasons Arbour Realty is a green business.

GDC: Why is this a good time to go green if you are buying or selling your home?

AR: There are some great loan programs available that make it possible to improve the performance of any home. With as little as 3.5% down, you can purchase a home and make a number of improvements with additional money borrowed. Lenders already understand the additional value that such improvements make to a home. We are happy to talk to you more about your individual situation and goals.

For any improvements you plan to make to your home it is worthwhile to consider some eco-friendly options. Stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops do not capture the attention of a buyer like they did a few years ago. I’ve hosted open houses where potential buyers were much more impressed with some of the newest eco-friendly materials. If you plan to keep your home for several years or more, you will want improvements you make, to keep up with times.

GDC: What advice do you have for home buyers and sellers who might be curious about going green but are skeptical of the costs and don't know where to begin?

AR: The best place to start is with a home energy audit. A good auditor can make low and no-cost recommendations that can improve the efficiency and value of your home. They can also recommend ways to get the best bang for your buck when it comes to larger investments. The additional return on investment can happen a lot quicker than some consumers might think. We post a lot of tips and suggestions for free on our website, Twitter and Facebook page. You are welcome to check some of those out.

GDC: Any other information you would like add?

AR: We work with a lot of different people in the DC area with varying degrees of interest in “green.” Some, flat out don’t care. They just want to work with Arbour Realty because they have heard great things about the results we produce and the customer service. We love these clients just as much. What’s funny, is that they often find themselves asking questions about energy efficiency and healthy indoor air quality at some point during the home buying or selling process. We like to educate consumers when they are interested, but we are not hear to push our ideas on anyone. We simply want to provide a better customer experience than can be found at any other firm in the DC area. We will continue keeping a light carbon footprint in the meantime.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Guest Post: A Smart Grid For Heat

A cement kiln waste heat recovery power plant

By Robert W. Timmerman PE, CEM, LEED AP

The need:
Buildings need both electric power and heat. Electric power runs lights, computers, and air conditioning; heat warms the building in winter, and heats domestic hot water year round. The total energy used by a building is the fuel burned to make electric power plus the fuel burned on site for heat. On a nationwide basis, about 30% of the total energy used by buildings goes for heat. The percentages are higher in the Northeast and the Midwest. To make buildings fully renewable, a renewable supply of heat is needed in addition to a renewable source of power.

The Thermal Smart Grid
The Thermal Smart Grid would supply much of the heat energy needed by buildings from renewables such as solar heat, and by recycling otherwise wasted heat from power and industrial plants,. The various sources of heat would be coordinated by real time controllers combined with a sophisticated rate schedule which would encourage the optimum use of resources to match each building’s particular need.

Availability of these sources would be enhanced by interseasonal thermal storage, storing heat in summer for use in winter. This technology has been demonstrated in Europe, and designs have been prepared for an interseasonal storage project in Massachusetts. The economies of scale with thermal storage give the Thermal Smart Grid a natural advantage over smaller scale systems. Interseasonal thermal storage extends the amount of heat available, and might make possible the storage of winter cold for efficient summer cooling. The same distribution system could distribute cooling in sumer.

Potential Energy Savings
By recycling the waste heat from fossil fired power plants within economic thermal transmission distances of population centers, the Thermal Smart Grid would save about 5% of the total energy used by buildings, and would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 75 million tons per year. Use of other heat sources would increase the savings: a combination of solar energy with interseasonal storage could increase the savings to perhaps 12% of the total energy used by buildings, which would be 40% of the fuel burned to heat buildings.

The Parts of the Smart Grid
Just as the Electrical Smart Grid, the Thermal Smart Grid is a system, that includes sources of heat, heat customers, piping to interconnect them, short term and long term thermal storage, and controls to manage the system and interconnections. The grid itself would be a piping network operating a relatively low temperature in order to obtain heat at high efficiency. At the design maximum water temperature of 120F (50C), heat is available at reasonable efficiencies from simple solar collectors and from recycled power plant and industrial waste heat. Use of water at this temperature for heating is an established technology.

Just with electrical grids, an overall control system would manage the Thermal Smart Grid. This would take the form of an executive controller that would match the daily demand for heat with the resources available. Surplus heat would go to storage, and shortages would be made up from storage, or from local heating systems. Overall control would be assisted by an innovative rate schedule, where customers contract for a fixed flow rate of hot water, and are billed for the quantity they use, as well as the monthly bill for the quantity. This gives the customers the flexibility to optimize how their buildings use heat.

Is McDonald's Going Healthy?

I snapped this picture on the D.C. Metro. Could the ultimate symbol of our unhealthy fast-food nation finally be going on a diet? For the sake of the millions of obese, nutrient-deficient Americans out there I sure hope so.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Big Oil Goes On Offensive

You can't walk two blocks in our Nation's Capital without running into a Big Oil advertisement. There are the Shell ads plastered in every possible nook and cranny of the Metro subway system and in so many spots in Union Station that they might as well name it Shell Station.

These ads are deceptive because Shell has rebranded itself an "energy" company that wants to "pass energy on to future generations." But will that energy be dirty oil and gas or clean and renewable energy? If it is dirty fossil fuels then there won't be much of a future for the next generation of consumers Shell is so desperately seeking.

Let's get one thing straight -- Shell and other Big Oil companies are in the fossil fuel business and there is no way around it no matter how many oversized ads they plaster across D.C. If they were talking about algae oil and geothermal energy as the solution to greenhouse gas emissions that would be one thing, but they aren't. Instead they are talking about burning "cleaner" oil and natural gas. But guess what? They are still fossil fuels with a heavy carbon footprint that contribute to global warming no matter how you dance around it or no matter how many additives you mix in.

And then there is the ultimate deceptive advertising and marketing campaign run by the Oil and Natural Gas Industry in the form of the "Rally for Jobs" signs plastered on street lamps all over town and in banner ads on the Washington Post website.

This ladies and gentlemen is the result of millions of dollars being poured into fighting any sort of Climate Change and Clean Energy legislation that would cut the corporate tax breaks for dirty energy companies in favor of incentives for wind, solar, geothermal and biofuel companies. It is important the voting public sees right through their propaganda and says no to the dirty energy industry by electing officials who stand up to Big Oil and boot out politicians who are on their short leash.

This "Rally for Jobs" is actually not a rally at all, but a carefully crafted "virtual rally" on September 22nd from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. where I assume a litany of oil and gas industry employees will spout off from Houston, Texas about how we need dirty energy jobs and not taxes. Not one word will be mentioned about renewable energy and energy efficiency and how for decades the tax breaks have been unfairly distributed to big oil and gas companies to the detriment of millions of clean energy jobs that would save our economy and the environment.

Shame on Big Oil for pouring millions into these deceptive advertising campaigns to keep the public addicted to their harmful products when they could be using that money to invest more in research and development of renewable energy sources that would end our dependence on oil and natural gas once and for all.

Pictures of Shell's advertising blitz:

Metro Train

Union Station

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Canucks Go Green

Wednesday afternoon the Canadian Embassy in Washington hosted a renewable energy and energy efficiency showcase and reception. Innovative Canadian companies were on hand to display their latest technological breakthroughs and there were some noteworthy innovations that will hopefully soon start to take off on this side of the border.

Perhaps the most promising for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels is the home geothermal unit from NextEnergy. While geothermal technology has been around since the 1950s, it is only in the last 15 years that it has become more efficient.

Installing a unit in your home can provide you with peak efficiency all the time for heating during the winter and cooling during the summer. The reason is because the pipes go down anywhere from six feet to a thousand feet (depending on if it's a vertical, horizontal or pond loop) into the earth where the temperature is a constant 50 to 60 degrees. And there is only a six inch hole in the ground so no more big, noisy and wasteful air conditioning units.

And the carbon footprint of geothermal is incredibly low. A typical home using geothermal saves between 2 to 5.5 tons of CO2 per year. And the long-term financial savings are tremendous as well. The upfront cost for the unit and drilling averages around $20,000, minus any federal and state incentives that in some U.S. states can trim 25-30% off the initial cost. But here is where it gets good -- the upfront cost is all you have to pay for geothermal energy. For the next 40 to 60 years you will be getting free renewable energy from the earth to heat and cool your home that is always operating at peak efficiency and helping to fight global warming and our addiction to fossil fuels.

Other companies represented:
  • SunProject makes see-through sun screen shades to make buildings more energy efficient. They worked on providing exterior shades for the Vancouver Olympic Village Project. They also make recycled stainless steel railing systems.

  • The Power-Pipe recovers hot drain water energy to lower water heating costs by up to 35% and reduce your home's greenhouse gas emissions by up to one ton per year.

  • The Power Panel is a next generation solar panel that combines heat and electricity. The panel captures around 80% of the sun's energy versus 5-18% for a traditional PV panel and supplies both electricity and heat from the same panel. Power Panel is the first-to-market solar panel that provides both photovoltaic electricity and thermal energy.

  • Delta makes sustainable home drainage and water retention products to maximize efficiency such as waterproofing membranes, drain boards, rainscreens, breathable roofs and garden roof systems.

Gray wins, D.C. loses

What if you had a once-in-a-generation mayor who took rare decisive action to fix a broken system and inspire thousands of young, diverse residents not bogged down by the deep divisions of race and class that have been exploited for decades by the political establishment?

Mayor Adrian Fenty was that special man, that rare breed of leader who actually made Washington D.C. a better place to live and work by reforming the schools, reducing the crime rate, improving city services, adding bike lanes and bus routes and streetcars to get people out of their cars, revitalizing long-neglected neighborhoods like Columbia Heights that helped spark a population growth after decades of decline.

And what if those hard-fought gains turned our Nation's Capital from a national joke to a model for urban renewal?

Mayor Fenty won many admirers for his dynamic approach to governing and was endorsed for re-election by The Washington Post, Washington Examiner, Washington City Paper and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Newark Mayor Corey Booker and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson.

But that wasn't enough in this racially and economically divided city where leadership is still defined by personality over substance and getting things done. So this morning at 5:24 a.m. I sadly report that District voters rejected our great mayor and decided to take a major step backwards by electing Council Chairman Vincent Gray who ran a viciously negative, Republicanesque campaign by playing on the economic and racial insecurities of D.C. residents by tearing down Fenty and offering no alternative platform whatsoever other than to make disingenuous and false promises to disgruntled special interests.

Way to go D.C. Your shortsighted betrayal of Fenty will discourage dynamic young leaders from taking office in this city and perpetuate the stereotype of D.C. as a provincial backwater Southern town unable to tackle big issues, instead of the world-class city Fenty was trying so hard to create.

And this is the thanks he gets -- booted out of office despite the majority of residents saying their city is better off after four years of his visionary leadership.

It truly is a Gray day in Washington, D.C.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Soulful 'Solar On The White House' Event

Unity College in Maine students display the Jimmy Carter solar panel on the sidewalk prior to the official event inside the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Northwest D.C.
Given the gravity of global warming, a house of worship was the perfect place to welcome a group of students who traveled all the way from Maine to try to convince President Obama to re-install solar panels on the roof of the White House (Jimmy Carter first installed them in 1979 and Ronald Reagan removed them in 1986).

The historic All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church on 16th Street in Northwest Washington, D.C. was the setting Thursday evening for a soulful panel of speakers and an enthusiastic audience who welcomed the students from Maine's Unity College at the end of their road trip. They brought an original Carter-era solar panel with them which they planned to deliver to the White House. The students, who were accompanied on the trip by environmental activist, author and 350.org founder Bill McKibben, drove their vegetable oil-powered van to Boston, New York City and finally to D.C. for the meeting at the White House on Friday morning at 9 a.m.

The organization 350.org is named for the upper limit of CO2 parts-per-million in the atmosphere before the climate change tipping point. In addition to the Solar Panel Road Trip, the organization is busy preparing for a global climate change day of action on 10/10/10.

"We think (the failure of the climate bill) is a gift to the administration because it allows them to show everybody how committed they are to clean energy," said McKibben about why he is cautiously optimistic the White House will be receptive to the idea of re-installing solar panels on the roof.

Unity College students speak about the solar panel road trip and environmental education. In addition to the students and McKibben, other speakers included Hip Hop Caucus CEO Reverend Lenny Yearwood Jr., All Souls Executive Director Katie Loughary, Chesapeake Climate Action Network founder and director Mike Tidwell, and one of the laborers who helped install the first solar panels on the White House roof.
"I know people who don't believe in global warming and even they like solar panels," said McKibben. "What's not to like?"

McKibben cited Michelle Obama's White House vegetable garden as an example of how the First Family can influence millions of Americans by such a simple gesture.

"When Michelle Obama planted that beautiful garden, the next year the sale of vegetable seeds went up 30%," said McKibben. "People already knew intellectually that there was such a thing as a vegetable garden -- you plant the seed in the ground and it grows into a vegetable -- but clearly it was useful to see it acted out in public on the most important piece of real estate that we all together own as Americans."

McKibben candidly could give no guarantees that we still have time to slow down or reverse climate change or that there is even the political will to begin to tackle this massive problem. But he did have one rock solid guarantee that left the audience with some hope.

"There are lots of people around the world who will keep doing this work until the absolutely bitter end. They will continue to work as hard as they can to solve this problem."

Monday, September 6, 2010

Obama Turns Attention to Infrastructure

The plan includes rehabilitating or reconstructing 150 miles of airport runways, while also installing a next generation air navigation system to reduce travel time and delays.

The Associated Press is reporting this morning that President Obama is calling on Congress to approve $50 billion in infrastructure spending to upgrade roads, railways and airports and spur long-term economic growth. Additionally, the President plans to call for the creation of a national infrastructure bank so there is a dedicated source of funding for national and regional infrastructure projects.

Obama will discuss the infrastructure plans at a Labor Day event later today in Milwaukee.

Click here for the link to the AP story on WashingtonPost.com.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Green SoCal Headlines: September 3, 2010

California Rolls Out Zero Net Energy Plan for Buildings (Environmental Leader)
Summary: The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), along with stakeholders, has released the state’s Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Action Plan for Buildings. The roadmap provides an action plan to shift the state’s 5 billion square feet of commercial property space from the biggest energy consumers in the state to “net zero” energy users, through greater energy efficiency and on-site clean energy generation by 2030.

Schwarzenegger Vows to Revive Renewable Energy Bill (Environmental Leader)
Summary: California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Wednesday that he would work to help push through an ambitious renewable-energy bill that the state legislature failed to pass before a midnight deadline on Tuesday.

California Rejects Ban on Plastic Shopping Bags (Environmental Leader)
Summary: California lawmakers have rejected a bill that would have been the first statewide ban on plastic shopping bags in the nation, USA Today reports.

Environmentalists stunned by failures of key measures in Legislature (L.A. Times)
Summary: Environmentalists were counting on big gains in Sacramento this summer, with a governor eager to burnish his green credentials in his final months in office. But by the time the legislative session ended at midnight Tuesday, those hopes had fizzled.

New Report Touts Benefits of HSR for Southern California (High Speed Rail News)
Summary: A new report from the Center for Urban Infrastructure claims HSR will contribute a regional income benefit of $701 million to southern California workers who otherwise would have been unemployed.

California’s smart meter fears (Grist)
Summary: No one said transforming the century-old power system into a state of-the-art digital smart grid was going to be easy. But California already is getting bogged down in a growing fight over installing smart utility meters in homes.

Under fire from industry, scientific panel is 'gutted' (California Watch)
Summary: Five out of nine members of a scientific panel that advises the state on toxic chemicals have been fired in recent weeks, following disputes with the chemical industry and a conservative group that targets environmental laws.

State: Fine particles kill 9,200 a year (O.C. Register)
Summary: Fine particle pollution causes 9,200 premature deaths every year in California, the state Air Resources Board says — a finding that the agency believes bolsters its push to reduce diesel emissions.

Supermarket Installs 400-kW Fuel Cell (Environmental Leader)
Summary: A new Albertsons supermarket will be one of the first in California to generate nearly 90 percent of its electricity requirements with an on-site 400-kilowatt fuel cell. The project is estimated to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 478 metric tons each year compared to California’s non-baseload power plants.

Foothill Transit Adds All-Electric Buses to Fleet (Environmental Leader)
Summary: Foothill Transit, a public transport provider that operates bus services in Southern San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys, in California, will soon be adding a fleet of all-electric, zero-emission buses and related fast-charging stations to its existing bus fleet and transit routes.

Beach coalition hopes to control Labor Day littering (S.D. Union-Tribune)
Summary: A flood of beach visitors over Labor Day weekend will likely mean huge volumes of trash at San Diego-area beaches.

$600K will help revive San Diego wetland habitat (S.D. Union-Tribune)
Summary: New state funding will help restore receded wetlands in south San Diego Bay, an ambitious effort to help fish and wildlife displaced by farming and development.

Enter Agent ID # 1003 on the Buy Page for 1 Free Quart.