The California Air Resources Board Adopts Far-Reaching Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Targets Designed To Achieve More Livable, Sustainable Communities

Climate Change

On September 23, 2010, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted targets throughout the State for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles (including automobiles and light trucks). The targets vary by region. In the Greater Los Angeles area, comprising approximately 18 million people, CARB set reduction targets of 8% by 2020 and 13% by 2035. This despite the September 2 vote of the regional council of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) urging CARB to require more modest targets of 6% by 2020 and 8% by 2035.
Cars and Trucks in trafic.
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Ninth Circuit Agrees With Other Circuits In Barring Pre-Enforcement Challenges To Clean Water Act Administrative Compliance Orders

The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has joined the Fourth, Sixth, Seventh and Tenth Circuits in holding that the Clean Water Act precludes pre-enforcement review of compliance orders alleging violations of the Act. Court RulingIn an opinion issued September 17, 2010 (Sackett v. EPA), the court ruled that landowners who had allegedly violated the Clean Water Act by filling in their property without first obtaining a permit could not challenge the compliance order until EPA started an enforcement action in federal court.

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EPA Holds Hearings on Hydraulic Fracturing

Water Quality

Hydraulic FracturingAs part of a broad investigation into the practice of pressurized injection of water, sand, and chemicals to extract natural gas from shale, known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held several public hearings this week in Binghamton, New York. Hydraulic fracturing operates by the pressure of the injected materials exceeding the rock strength and the fluid then opening or enlarging fractures in the rock. As the formation is fractured, a “propping agent,” such as sand or ceramic beads, is pumped into the fractures to keep them from closing as the pumping pressure is released.

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The Clean Air Act Turns 40

Air Quality

Today is the 40th year anniversary of the passage of the Clean Air Act. This landmark legislation, which Congress revised and expanded in 1990, provides the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the authority to regulate air pollutant emissions. EPA is celebrating the Clean Air Act’s anniversary today, by touting the health and environmental benefits achieved under the act over the past 40 years. According to EPA, these achievements include significant health benefits to children, improved air quality and public health, cleaner cars, trucks and transportation, combating acid rain, cleaner power plants, reducing industrial toxic air pollution, and reducing skin cancer by protecting the ozone layer.

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Will CARB’s Report Live Up To The Promise Of Its Press Release: “Report Signals Historic Shift From Sprawl To More Livable, Sustainable Communities”?

Climate Change

On August 9, 2010, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) issued its long-awaited draft report implementing SB 375. Passed in 2008 (and recently favorably reviewed by the Urban Land Institute), SB 375 requires targeted reductions of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and 2035 throughout the State. The targets link climate change concerns to reductions in single-occupancy vehicle usage to new housing development and funding of transportation projects through coordinated regional and local planning, an ambitious effort without precedent here or elsewhere.Cars on Street

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