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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.

This Is What It’s Like To Live With Toxic Tap Water In California

In 2012, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that made the state the first in the nation to formally recognize access to safe, clean, and affordable water as a human right. Yet California’s Central Valley, the country’s hub for agriculture, has been plagued for years by water that is too toxic and dirty to drink, cook with, or bathe in. And while state and local officials have been long aware of the problem, they’ve been unable to put in place a permanent solution, much to the frustration of residents…

Cap-and-trade brings in money, despite Republican backlash

California Assemblyman Devon Mathis (R-Visalia) reported last week that farm and agriculture-related businesses in his district have received more than $54 million in cap-and-trade funding. Last year, Mathis voted in favor of the controversial bill proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown. Mathis stood by his decision despite backlash from the agriculture community and the Tulare County Republican Party, which pulled support for Mathis and asked him to resign…

California Regulators Adopts Plan to Lower Greenhouse Emissions

The California Public Utilities Commission has adopted a planning process to ensure the electric sector is on track to help the state meet its 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target, at least cost, while maintaining electric service reliability. The decision establishes a two-year integrated resource planning cycle for electricity providers…

Postcard From Sacramento: Residents Rally For A Healthy Valley

Vang, Villanueva and Crabbe were among more than 1,000 Valley residents who converged on Sacramento Thursday to urge state leaders to invest in their health, first at a briefing with lawmakers and then at a rally on the west steps of the Capitol.The San Joaquin Valley, which stretches from Kern County north toward Sacramento, is renowned for its agricultural riches. The Valley produces 40 percent of the nation’s fruits and nuts. But the area is also home to some of California’s sickest people. Valley residents suffer from high rates of diabetes and heart disease, and one-third of adults there are considered obese…

Community advocates from across the San Joaquin Valley rose early Thursday, loading onto buses for an hours-long ride to the state capitol to make this plea to legislators: invest in the valley. The trip, part of an Equity on the Mall rally organized by The Center at Sierra Health Foundation, embarks on an ambitious mission to change the odds and create better conditions for those living in the San Joaquin Valley…

Organized by The Center at Sierra Health Foundation, thousands of San Joaquin Valley residents — hundreds of them from Kern County — rose early, loaded onto buses and took the long ride to the state capitol in Sacramento Thursday, demanding lawmakers begin passing policies that improve health outcomes in their communities. The point of the rally, advocates said, was to tell the often ignored stories of those living in the San Joaquin Valley…

Phase II of water project complete

A partnership of state and local agencies working to help homeowners affected by California’s multi-year drought finished connecting 755 homes to a safe, reliable, permanent water supply. All households participating in the East Porterville Water Supply Project have now been connected to the City of Porterville’s municipal water system…

How PurpleAir’s Founder Put Air Quality Monitoring In The Hands Of The Public

We’ve been reporting a lot these last few weeks about PurpleAir, a new brand of low-cost, wifi-enabled air monitors that are enabling concerned citizens across the world to crowd-source air quality data. After speaking with public agencies, academics and advocacy groups about the promise of these devices, we were curious: Who created PurpleAir, and how did its product become so popular?

All this hazy air is making us sick; why isn’t air district protecting us?

For several weeks in late December and early January, the Central Valley experienced one of its worst air pollution episodes in decades – shrouding the region in harmful haze and driving even the healthiest among us to stay indoors. Unfortunately, this is yet another wake-up call to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) regarding the ongoing public health crisis that has been unfolding within our region for decades…

Researchers discover fertilizer is linked to air pollution

Nitrogen is a common nutrient found in soil fertilizer and any nitrogen not eaten by the plants goes unused and seeps into the ground or into the air. As researchers discovered at UC Davis, when nitrogen escapes into the air, it turns into nitrous oxide, or NoX, which is a pollutant…