Southern California environment news and trends

Toxic discharge in California waterways measured

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An eye-opening new study by Environment California finds that 2.6 million pounds of toxic chemicals were released into the state’s waterways in 2010. The Santa Monica Bay ranked 2nd in the state for the most toxic discharge at 750,000 pounds. That number was only surpassed by the San Pablo Bay, which clocked just over 1 million pounds of toxic discharge.

“California’s waterways are a polluter’s paradise right now," said Sean Carroll, a federal field associate with Environment California in the Pacific Palisades Patch. "Polluters dump 2.6 million pounds of toxic chemicals into California’s lakes, rivers and streams every year. We must turn the tide of toxic pollution by restoring Clean Water Act protections to our waterways.”

Among the offending toxins include Arsenic, Mercury and Benzene, which have been linked to cancer, reproductive disorders and other health and developmental issues.


Hollywood stars to shine at “the only green pre-Oscar party in town”

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Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

(L-R) Actors Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier and Jerry Ferrara.

Environmentally minded celebrities like Rosario Dawson, Orlando Bloom and Adrian Grenier will stroll the green carpet (natch) in front of the Avalon Hollywood tonight to support the 9th annual pre-Oscar party for Global Green, the American affiliate of Green Cross International.

According to the event press release, general admission tickets to the bash are going for a very reasonable $50 (VIP packages start at $1000), and will be available at the door. Proceeds from the event are dedicated for Global Green’s national Green Schools initiative, as well as a campaign around the Rio Earth Summit this June, which they would very much like for President Obama to attend.

The much-discussed Chevy Volt will serve as the event’s automotive sponsor, with Chevy rolling out a “sneak preview” of the 2012 Volt that qualifies for the both the carpool lane sticker and the new $1500 CA Clean Vehicle Rebate.


Pres. Obama keeps it eco-friendly at Las Vegas hotel

Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images

In Las Vegas to deliver an early campaign speech focused on energy, President Obama stayed true to his message by checking into an eco-friendly hotel for the night.

Speaking in front of a local UPS center last Thursday, the President pressed his energy agenda, announcing plans for new oil drilling leases in Mexico. Appropriately eschewing the bright lights of the Strip, Obama and his entourage then made their way to the LEED-certified Element by Westin hotel more than ten miles away.

The boutique hotel is aggressively environmentally conscious, featuring multiple recycling bins (glass, paper and plastic) and energy-efficient appliances in every room, and EV charging stations in the parking lot. The Presidential posse booked the entire second floor of the four-story hotel. Suites at the Element like the one the President stayed in run a reasonable $170 per night.