Southern California environment news and trends

Orange crush: One million refrigerators recycled in Southern California

Southern California Edison and the Environmental Protection Agency recently announced a local recycling milestone: One million refrigerators crushed as part of the EPA’s ongoing Responsible Appliance Disposal Program. Making SoCal Edison the first utility to reach the one million mark, the occasion was celebrated last week at an Appliance Recycling Center of America in Compton, California. 

“It’s about the customers. Californians are educated, motivated and care about the environment,” said EPA regional administrator Jared Blumenfeld by phone about the accomplishment. “People here understand the relationship between energy consumption and air quality, and want to do their part in tipping the balance.”  

Blumenfeld also cites the ease of the SoCal program as opposed to other cities, where recycling an old refrigerator is much more of a chore.


EPA rejects petition to ban popular herbicide

Mercer 11847

flydime/Flickr Creative Commons License

The Environmental Protection Agency this week denied a request by the National Resources Defense Council that extensively used herbicide 2,4-D be taken off the market. The 2008 petition was denied because the EPA felt that the NRDC did not provide adequate evidence to their claims that the pesticide is indeed harmful to humans.

“This has been one of the most widely used and successful herbicides in history and growers along with other users around the U.S. and the world can continue to use it with confidence,” said Jim Gray, executive director of the Industry Task Force II on 2,4-D research data in a press release. “EPA’s most recent decision is consistent with findings of other authorities such as the World Health Organization, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency and the European Commission.”


City of Claremont earns green award

Mercer 3546

Steven Cuevas

Noridan troupe member in rehearsal for Claremont's "eco-parade".

Claremont is the first city in California to be honored with the “Silver” award in recognition of sustainability efforts in the community. It’s one of only four cities — Monrovia, Riverside and Santa Clarita — to be recognized by the California Green Communities for their commitment.

Among Claremont’s green initiatives include improving energy efficiency and water conservation at city buildings and promoting physical activity through public education and environmental upgrading. The city was also responsible for a unique homeowner assistance program for instigating energy-conserving retrofits such as HVAC optimization and converting to solar panels.

"Our City takes its commitment to sustainability seriously," remarked Mayor Sam Pedroza in a press release. "It is a priority for the City Council and it is a consideration in every project and program we provide. Achieving the Silver level status validates the tremendous work this community has done."


Southern California wins big at EPA’s first Climate Leadership Awards

Mercer 20273

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

The Port of Los Angeles was given a Climate Leadership award by the EPA.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is using this leap day to recognize the recipients of the first-ever Climate Leadership Awards, and Southern California is walking away with a slew of honors.

The awards aim to spotlight “corporate, organizational, and individual leadership in addressing climate change and reducing carbon pollution,” according to an EPA press release.

Of the 21 honorees, the lone “Individual Leadership” award went to Gene Rodrigues, the Director of Customer Energy Efficiency and Solar at Southern California Edison. San Diego Gas & Electric was one of two winners of the “Organizational Leadership” award, alongside IBM.

In the category of “Supply Chain Leadership,” Port of Los Angeles was recognized for “actively addressing emissions outsider their operations.”

“The Port of Los Angeles has worked hard to establish itself as an international leader in port-related greenhouse gas emission reduction efforts,” explained Geraldine Katz, Ph.D and Port Executive Director. “We're proud that many of our programs now serve as models for other ports around the world.”