Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Morning greens: Temecula quarry quarrel, Metro rail debates, and L.A.'s water worries

Over 1,000 attend second Riverside County hearing over contested Temecula rock quarry. Reports KPCC: "Northern California company Granite Construction is seeking a 75-year permit to blast and crush rock for use in cement and asphalt. Opponents worry Liberty Quarry would generate hazardous silica dust. A city of Temecula analysis calls it "inappropriate” for the location – near an ecological preserve."

Metro's record-setting $4.2-billion budget heavy on L.A. rail projects. Reports LA Now: "The budget includes money for a slew of rail lines, including the Crenshaw Line in South L.A. that should begin construction next year. The budget has operating funds for the Expo Line, which should open later this year."

Metro urged to add a Leimert Park stop on the Crenshaw Line. Reports LA Times: "A new light rail line set to run through the heart of L.A.'s black community does not include a stop at the historic district. Instead, planners want to build a station about half a mile north, at the Crenshaw-Baldwin Hills mall, which they believe is more of a draw."

LADWP offers extreme makeover for energy and water ratepayers. Reports KPCC: "DWP promises it will also feature clearer information about each ratepayer's energy and water consumption history and it will offer ways to consume less of each of those increasingly pricey commodities." Meanwhile, men were arrested for stealing water and electricity from Glendale Water & Power.

Will rising seas return to the West Coast? Reports Climate Watch: "Researchers say sea levels haven't been rising along the West Coast of North America for decades, but that could be about to change, according to a new study."

LA's Metropolitan Water District says despite wet winter, future is dry. Reports KPCC: "A wet winter helped Metropolitan to lift restrictions on water deliveries for cities and agencies that are its members. But water district leaders say a warming climate is already shrinking supplies from the Colorado River."

Nipton, Calif.: A clean-tech boomtown. Reports LA Times: "Gerald Freeman saw the tiny outpost of Nipton, Calif., as 'a little place to make a home' and maybe some money. He bought it in the 1980s and has moved toward creating a sustainable wonderland."

A new mobile app helps save Calif. redwoods. Reports Climate Watch: "Redwood Watch is a free download that allows users to take field observations and easily upload them to a central online database. There's an online tutorial explaining how it works."

Photo: Los Angeles City Councilman Herb Wesson and other elected officials take a peek at the new Metro Expo light rail line. The service is scheduled to start running between downtown L.A. and Culver City starting later this year. (Corey Moore/KPCC)