Southern California environment news and trends

New report on the state of California water due this week

Mercer 14466

Mark Dadswell/Getty Images

The waters of California are swirling. As we reported recently, the controversial Water Reliability Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives, but heavy-hitting senators like Dianne Fienstein and Barbara Boxer are mobilized against it going any further. We also reported on the sobering new report from UC Davis regarding water contamination in California’s farm regions.

Now there’s a new report from Environment California expected tomorrow (which, coincidentally, is World Water Day) that will detail exactly the “total amount of toxic chemicals released by industrial facilities into California’s rivers, lakes, and streams, as ranked by waterway, watershed, type of pollution, polluter, and state.”

As outlined in a press release, this new report will explain the “total figures for direct releases of chemicals that cause cancer, reproductive, and developmental harm.” In short, it’s something that most of us will be eager to see. We will be sure to bring you those figures as they arrive.

Read More...

House approves contentious California water bill

MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

Senators Barbara Boxer (L) and Dianne Feinstein (R) oppose the legislation.

A controversial bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday faces an uncertain future, further illustrating the enormous gap between Democrats and Republicans during this election year.

As reported by the L.A. Times, the heavily Republican-supported Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act “rewrites two decades of water law in California, wiping out environmental protections and dropping reforms of federal irrigation policy that have long irritated agribusiness in the Central Valley.”

The bill was approved 246-175 votes after a nearly five-hour debate, but the White House has already threatened a veto, and Senate Democrats like Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer are mobilizing against it.

“Senator Boxer and I will do everything we can to make sure it won't pass," Feinstein said in the Merced Sun-Star, "and I don't believe it will pass."

Read More...