ABC News – January 26
Wednesday’s Los Angeles City Council directed the city attorney, to draft an ordinance that would prohibit oil and natural gas drilling in Los Angeles. The ordinance would also change zoning laws so that drilling is illegal. The council also established a program to help transition oil and gas workers into other industries. After a decade of residents complaining about health problems caused by air pollution from oil well sites, the council made this decision. Representatives of the oil and gas industry oppose these measures, claiming that they will increase gas prices, eliminate jobs, and increase dependence on foreign oil.
The Hill – January 26
Wednesday’s proposal from the EPA was to reject an industry request for changes to its findings concerning the risks posed ethylene oxide. This chemical is used to make chemicals and sterilize medical equipment. The agency considers it to be cancer-causing. EPA stated in a new proposal that it intends to continue to relying on its 2016 findings concerning the dangers associated with inhaling the chemical. These findings underpin its 2020 regulations. EPA rejects industry requests to rely on a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality assessment that found inhalation of ethylene dioxide to be significantly less hazardous than EPA.
The San Diego Union-Tribune – January 27
Community groups in New Jersey and California are suing EPA, seeking more stringent emissions standards under the Clean Air Act for trash incinerators — many of them in predominantly minority communities. According to one lawsuit, EPA was required to set performance standards for large incinerators that burn 250 to more tons of trash per hour. They also have to update those standards every five year. According to the lawsuit, EPA failed in its obligation to update the Clean Air Act’s most recent deadline in 2011.
Visalia Times Delta – January 27
After years of planning, critical repairs to the Friant Kern Canal’s sinking were completed on Tuesday. The first phase of the $187 million project will restore flow to a 10-mile stretch along the canal in eastern Tulare County. California’s droughts have caused groundwater pumping to be excessively high, sinking 13 feet below the canal. This has limited the waterway’s ability to transport water to farms or communities. Groundwater management laws that limit pumping will make it more important that the canal carries water from the Sierra Nevada to Valley floor.
Courthouse News Service – January 26
An environmental group claims that the recent oil spillage near Huntington Beach has proven that the government’s 2017 assessment of the danger to endangered species from oil-and-gas drilling off California’s coast was flawed. The lawsuit asks the court for an order to suspend oil and gas drilling permits off California’s coastline until the Department of the Interior (and other federal agencies) have properly assessed the risk to endangered species such as seals, whales, and other endangered species.
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