News

This page features excerpts from news about environmental justice advocacy in the San Joaquin Valley and links to their original sources. Use the features on the right to sort by topic, news source, date, key word or author. You may also subscribe to receive the news by e-mail or through an rss reader. Please note that links to original sources may expire over time.

Air pollution from U.S. manufacturing lower; regulations among other factors credited

You have to wonder why after two million years’ time, humans are still being exposed to and breathing bad air. It’s mind-boggling, if not more than a little disconcerting, to say the least. Through document searches I look for hope, encouraging words. Take, for instance, the following from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s “2017-18 Report to the Community”…

Tax on California water revived to clean up drinking water – but it’s voluntary

Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers are rebooting an effort to pass a new tax to attack unsafe drinking water in California. But there’s a twist: The proposed tax on water bills would be voluntary, increasing its chances of success among skittish lawmakers in an election year. After calling off a plan in June to apply a mandatory tax on water bills, the governor is backing a new pair of bills that would apply a voluntary levy on ratepayers to fund safe drinking water projects…

Grassroots air quality sensors spreading to local neighborhoods

When smoke from the massive Ferguson Fire began pouring into the San Joaquin Valley last month, first it darkened the skies over Fresno, then it drifted south into Delano, Shafter and Bakersfield, turning the sunset an eerie amber-orange. Bakersfield educator Tony Amarante didn’t much like it. But he was armed with a tool most people don’t have: a sensor attached to the eaves of his home that provides real-time measurements of dangerous PM 2.5 and other particle pollution common in wood smoke, diesel fumes and other pollutants…

Trump admin has declared war on the environment

The resignation of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt was met with a collective sigh of relief across the nation. Pruitt, one of President Donald Trump’s most loyal foot soldiers in the Trump Administration’s ongoing war on environmental quality, environmental justice, and environmental health, had overseen some of the most egregious rollbacks of environmental protections in history during his brief and troubled tenure in office…

Climate Defenders Mobilizing for 3rd People’s Climate March

Call it the “People’s Climate March, Part III.” On Saturday, Sept. 8, thousands of people are expected to converge on the streets of San Francisco to demand that government leaders commit to ending all new fossil fuel projects and accelerating the move toward renewable energy…

California’s biggest environmental challenges? Water. Climate change. Political hot air.

California Influencers, a group of the state’s most respected experts in public policy, politics and government, weighed in on this question: What is the biggest environmental challenge facing the state?

The future of California’s grid waits on two bills

Clean energy advocates are trying to move a bill mandating 100% renewable and zero-carbon electricity and a separate bill to clear the way for regionalization of the power grid before the end of the state’s legislative session…

In Parts Of California Blanketed With Wildfire Smoke, Breathing Is ‘A Chore’

Debbie Dobrosky noticed a peculiar hue in the sky on August 6 — “a very ugly yellow casting” — as she peeked outside. A large cloud of smoke had begun to cover the sun. By the next day, the smoke was so heavy that “even inside my apartment I’ve had to use my inhaler twice this morning, which is not a normal thing,” says Dobrosky, a Riverside County, Calif., resident who lives about 30 miles from a fast-growing fire in the Cleveland National Forest…

Federal judicial panel bans the pesticide chlorpyrifos

In a decision that surprised many, a federal court released a decision Thursday ordering the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to effectively ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos. In a two-to-one vote, a panel of U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit judges “vacated” the EPA’s 2017 decision, under administrator Scott Pruitt, that the pesticide would continue to be allowed to be sprayed on crops…

Bad air quality in Kern County: causes and effects

Air quality levels in Bakersfield have been hovering around the ‘unhealthy’ mark all summer. Contributors to the smog include the consistent triple-digit temperatures, car exhaust–and most prominently, the more than dozen wildfires blazing across the state. “When we have a wildfire, the impact of the smoke is very significant, and we would encourage anybody to stay indoors,” said Christal Martinez from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District…