Clean Water

Solar Careers: Revitalizing The Hope For New Job Creation in California

By Bruce Reznik
Planning and Conservation League

Yesterday, The Solar Foundation released its “National Solar Jobs Census 2011 Report.” The new study found that one in four solar energy jobs in the United States are held by Californians; and that nationwide, clean tech jobs are on the rise. With 25,575 of the 100,237 solar-related jobs nationwide, California leads the pack and holds four times as many positions as the runner- up, Colorado with 6,186 solar jobs recorded last year.

Delta Fish Rebound Endangers Already Troubled Water Bond, Claim Opponents

By Dan Aiello
California Progress Report

The Department of Fish and Game’s announcement this month of a remarkable turnaround in the populations of the Bay-Delta estuary’s endangered Smelt and Salmon species spelled more trouble for proponents of the state’s 2012 water bond measure.

Delta legislators and environmentalists were delighted by news of the recovering populations within the Delta but, assured an epic election battle where they expect to be heavily outspent by water interest groups, continue to promote science, conservation and regional sustainability over what they claim is a monolithic funding measure that's bloated with unnecessarily expensive statewide solutions to what amount to regional water woes.

California Waters Showing Toxicity Increase 170%

By Dan Bacher

California has a “green” reputation throughout the country, but this reputation is largely undeserved when one considers the fact that the number of California rivers, lakes and coastal waters showing toxicity has increased dramatically since 2006, as exposed in a list of polluted waterways released today.

The alarming list, submitted by the state of California to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and finalized by the agency on October 11, reveals that more of California’s waterways are impaired than previously known. Increased water monitoring data shows the number of rivers, streams and lakes in California exhibiting overall toxicity have increased 170 percent from 2006 to 2010, according to Nahal Mogharabi, spokesman for the California EPA, in a news release.

Time for EPA to Get Moving on Risks of Drinking Water Contaminants

By Gina Solomon
Natural Resources Defense Council

Anyone who saw the famous movie Erin Brockovich is familiar with hexavalent chromium, or 'hex chrome'; it's the carcinogen that polluted the town water supply in Hinkley, California and triggered the David vs. Goliath fight between sick community members (aided by Erin Brockovich), and PG&E, the polluter.

The real fight raged long after Hollywood moved on to other blockbusters. The list of corporations that are responsible for the nearly 700 toxic waste sites with chromium contamination reads like a Who’s Who of the rich and powerful, including military and military contractors, pesticide companies, leather, plating, utilities, and chemical companies.

Students, Teachers Push to Halt Methyl Iodide Use in California Farms

By Li Miao Lovett
New America Media

Sal Lua remembers the reactions he and his fellow Brown Berets encountered when they first spoke out against methyl iodide at the Watsonville City Council meeting last December. “They were surprised that someone this young would go to the City Council,” he said.

The council later passed a resolution against the fumigant, but the students’ elation was short-lived. The next day, methyl iodide was approved for use by California’s State Department of Pesticide Regulation, which overrode the findings of the agency’s own scientists. While many Brown Berets, a Chicano activist group dating back to the 1960s, lost their enthusiasm upon graduating from high school, activists like Lua and his teachers continue the David vs. Goliath battle to reverse the approval.

We Like to Move It, Move It -- San Francisco Bay Area Rallies for Solutions to the Climate Crisis

By Rachele Huennekens
Sierra Club

Saturday, September 24 was the day that the San Francisco Bay Area put the “move” in the climate justice movement.   

The massive parade down Market Street and rally at Civic Center were part of  Moving Planet, a global day of action demanding solutions to climate change. The SF mobilization was organized by the Sierra Club,, California NOW and a broad coalition of 50 Bay Area sustainability, peace, environmental and social justice, conservation, faith, women's, bicycle, clean tech, and community groups, and was by far the largest climate justice demonstration to take place in the Bay Area in recent years.  

Safe, Affordable Water: A Right or a Privilege? What Will Your Children be Drinking Tonight?

By Debbie Davis
Environmental Justice Coalition for Water

At first glance, you’d think the Human Right to Water bill package—now on Gov. Brown’s desk—makes all the self-evident sense in the world.

This package will help communities across California in their fight to have clean, affordable, and accessible water—for drinking, cooking, and sanitary purposes.

Sounds great, but didn’t we take care of that clean drinking water thing a long time ago?

Well, it depends on where you live.  For the 2 million Californians statewide, primarily in rural communities, who depend on groundwater wells for their drinking water, this package will begin to reverse decades of discrimination and neglect by making provision of safe, affordable water a statewide priority.

It’s time to give all Californians a fair deal when it comes to water, our most basic of needs, and ensure that everyone has access, no matter their color or income level.

AG Kamala Harris Leads Strong Legal Defense of California's Marine Life Protection Act

By Warner Chabot

Kudos to Attorney General Kamala Harris for defending the state’s landmark Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) from a lawsuit filed against the California Fish and Game Commission by members of the Partnership for Sustainable Oceans (PSO), an industry group supported by foreign fishing equipment interests.

The Attorney General is taking strong action in protecting California’s coast from this meritless, “Hail Mary” legal attack by overseas special interests. In a brief filed in San Diego Superior Court late last week, the California Department of Justice asked for dismissal of the suit, which was filed by PSO group member, the Coastside Fishing Club.

The PSO has battled the establishment of marine reserves off the California coast for several years. It has spent millions on lawsuits and a public relations campaign attacking the scientifically-backed proposals to set aside areas of the ocean to allow fish and other marine life to rebuild after decades of heavy exploitation.

Controversial CEQA Reforms Approved by Legislature

By Eva Chambers
Planning and Conservation League

The Planning and Conservation League (PCL) stands strong with coalition partners in opposing 11th-hour bills that weaken California’s landmark environmental and community protection law

PCL, joining with a coalition including Sierra Club California, Coalition for Clean Air, Clean Water Action, and a host of environmental justice and community groups from the Los Angeles area and throughout California, tried valiantly to stave off three bills that will weaken protections of The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Boxer Wants Clean Air Groups to Sue White House Over Ozone Rules

By David Dayen

The Obama Administration environmental agenda has underwhelmed progressive supporters over the past week, to say the least. The rollback of ozone regulations will keep the country on a 1997 standard, worse than what the Bush Administration proposed in the waning days of his second term, and will lead to more asthma cases, more public health problems and more deaths. The battle over the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is moving away from activists as well. Thousands of them were arrested in Washington during two weeks of action, but in that time the State Department put out a whitewash of an environmental analysis, and the Administration does appear poised to rubber-stamp the project.