Just a quick update on a story I posted over the weekend about Ventura stormwater management. The regional water quality control board has for three years been working on low-impact development rules: a watershed-wide permit that would govern how new development and re-development must manage stormwater on their properties. Last week the board took an action: but nobody who was at the meeting has been able to report clearly to me what happened there.
The board's interim executive officer, Sam Unger, now says the specific language of the stormwater permit will be available today or, at latest, tomorrow.
I've been on an extended vacation for the last coupla weeks - including in New Orleans, about which I'll have something to say later. But as I re-enter my brain into my job, I noticed this Chicago Tribune story about plans to apply Rotenone to deal with Asian Carp - an invasive species in the Great Lakes region.
Some years back (nearly three!) I did a story on aquatic invasive species in California. (Can't seem to find it on our website, but here's an external link.) California, of course, has thrown Rotenone in its lakes, too. And just recently the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board met in Tahoe to approve Rotenone for killing invasive species in a place they're trying to protect angling for Paiute cutthroat trout.
I'm not allowed to, of course; I cover energy and the environment for a public radio station. It violates the code. (Yes, conspiracy trolls, we've got a code, it's in our underground lair.) Nonetheless.
I HATE EARTH DAY.
…with a white hot passion that burns like a thousand suns (though none of those suns have solar thermal or PV panels to soak up their energy, which seems unfortunate).
I didn't use to. I'm a good several years younger than Earth Day, but I grew up in Northern California's Bay Area, one of your early adopters. To talk about what I remember about it then is to fully embody every cliché you can think of for people in such places, so here goes, get your bingo cards out. We had petition gatherers outside the Co-op, the market my mom preferred over the big Safeway. (And we were mainstream – hell, my parents had a Suburban.) My brother and I fondly remember him getting indoctrinated in Montessori school. There's a hazy memory of Mr. Zucca the science teacher blowing up an earth-shaped balloon and releasing it, which we know makes no sense now.
I reported a series some time ago about "green chemistry" - a loosely defined term for reforms promoted by environmentalists aimed at clarifying for the public what the hell the chemicals do, and minimizing human exposure to stuff that's toxic or carcinogenic.
Now the Washington Post reports Senator Frank Lautenberg's going to introduce legislation to change up the way the federal government manages chemicals.
The idea is that chemical manufacturers would be on the hook for showing that their products are safe for human exposure BEFORE the chemicals make their way into products that people might, you know, get exposed to. And chemical manufacturers would have to give the EPA health and safety data they've (in some cases) never handed over before.
Lautenberg told the Post:
Last Saturday I trekked out to Claremont for an event at Pitzer College. Frankly, I didn't consider it a trek, even if the 210 tried to make it so. But when I got there, people kept asking me if I was from out of town. "Are you from out of town?" "No, I'm from Los Angeles." "That's what I mean."
Out of town or not, I love Border Grill food, and my friends. Not in that order.
The event was Pitzer's screening of FUEL. Film director Josh Tickell, you might know, if you're a big Matt Lauer fan: he appeared on the Today show when he drove a veggie van (and later, a veggie bus). They were giving tours of the veggie bus, which touts alternative fuel inside. The film was named best documentary at Sundance.
An algae car sat nearby. Well, part run on algae fuel. Refined by Sapphire Energy, the fuel has hydrocarbons in it, refined from algal crude. It sat next to the Mounds, where the Pitzer kids chillax.