Southern California environment news and trends

Magic Mountain charged with polluting the Santa Clara River

brewbooks/Flickr (cc by-nc-nd)

An aerial view of the Santa Clara River.

Environmental groups are claiming that popular Southern California amusement park Six Flags Magic Mountain is guilty of contaminating the adjacent Santa Clara River with pollution that ultimately reaches the Pacific Ocean.

As reported by the L.A. Times, Santa Monica Baykeeper, Wishtoyo Foundation and Friends of the Santa Clara River sent a joint letter to the theme park last week about the garbage, including “bacteria, metals, toxins, sediments and other pollutants” from the park’s storm drains spilling into the river system.

If Six Flags does not “significantly reduce” the pollution in the next 60 days, the groups plan on suing the park.

Magic Mountain has replied to the accusations in a statement, stressing environmental improvements already made by the park.

"In the last six years, the Park has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to not only lower the amount of storm water discharge but to improve the quality of the storm water discharged,” read part of the statement.


Morning greens: Carmaggedon is upon us, cap and trade is reborn

Good morning, Southland! Here are the latest green leads to hit the headlines.

In case you haven’t heard, Los Angeles is preparing for “Carmaggedon” on July 16-17, when the 405 freeway will be shut down from the 10 to the 101. Officials are urging Angelenos to stay out of their cars as much as possible that weekend. As the Calabasas Patch reports, public transportation is stepping up. “Metro will provide free rides as well as additional bus service on the Metro Orange Line during the closure weekend to further spur transit trips between the San Fernando Valley and downtown Los Angeles. This is in addition to previously announced free rides on the Metro Red/Purple Line subway.” 

An appellate court has ruled that California has the legal right to move ahead with preparations for cap and trade after environmental justice groups brought suit against the Air Resources Board (ARB) over its plans for carbon trading. As KQED writes, “Environmental justice groups who brought the suit say that cap and trade would not protect low-income areas and communities of color from localized pollution from power plants.” The actual meat of the matter will be decided later this year.