A new statewide health risk advisory warns adult women under 45 and all children against eating bass, carp or large brown trout caught in California lakes and reservoirs.
California is issuing its first statewide warning about toxic contamination of sport fish in lakes and reservoirs.
A new health risk advisory says children and adult women under the age of 45 should not consume carp, bass, or larger brown trout caught in several hundred bodies of water around the state. Everybody else should only eat those fish once a week.
The problem is methyl mercury – a toxic metal that can harm the brain and nervous system.
“Some of the mercury contamination comes from prior mining or other industrial operations,” says Sam Delson, a spokesman for the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. “Some of it is deposition from atmospheric mercury.”
Rainbow trout and smaller browns are slightly safer – women of childbearing age and children can eat them twice a week.
City of Carson Mayor Jim Dear listens as Erin Brockovich speaks to media after Carson declared a local emergency over Carousel neighborhood contamination. Brockovich works with the law firm Girardi & Keese, which is representing Carousel residents.
The Carson City Council declared a local state of emergency Monday. The urgent problem is toxic contamination left in land decades ago where houses were later built in the Carousel neighborhood, city officials said.
The Carousel tract of 285 homes sits on land that once held open tanks of petroleum. Once drained, they left behind methane, which poses a risk of explosion, and benzene, known to cause cancer. The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board has ordered Shell Oil to clean up the properties.
But Carson Mayor Jim Dear told a special meeting that an emergency declaration will send a message, both to state leaders, that the city needs help, and to Shell, that the city wants something more.
“Put the money up to buy every property in the Carousel tract,” Dear challenged Shell. “Make the people whole. Then once you own the property you clean the property and then you can sell it for another use.”
Laurie Avocado/ Flickr Creative Commons
The view from South Broadway in Carson, California.
Toxic contamination under houses in a Carson neighborhood may move the city's leaders to declare a state of local emergency.
Almost 300 houses sit atop what used to be a petroleum tank farm in the Carousel neighborhood of Carson. Shell Oil sold the site in the 1960s to a developer. Decades later, investigations revealed toxic and cancer-causing chemicals under the houses. Since 2008, homeowners have appealed to local and state officials to clean them up, most recently at a city council meeting on July 18.
“The meeting we were having was really turning into another town hall meting like we've had many many times before,” said Carson Mayor Jim Dear.
In a move that could raise the pressure on Shell, Dear is calling for the declaration of a local emergency.
“The order given to Shell Oil Corporation needs to be acted on,” he said. “I feel that declaring a local emergency will cause action on the part of Shell and the water board.”
A local declaration would not alter the regulatory responsibility the water board already has, nor would it create a legal responsibility for Shell to act any faster.
The Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation used North Atwater Village park as a backdrop Tuesday to call attention to its proposal for a 51-mile greenway along the river.
The nonprofit development group, formed just over 2 years ago, is expanding plans to connect bike paths and walking trails along the waterway.
"We’re trying to build the river we want to see," said Omar Brownson, executive director of the corporation.
"We're not interested in transforming policy," he says, an explanation aimed at distinguishing his group from other river advocates. "We're interested in transforming the river."
A key first step in doing that for Brownson's group is called LaKretz Crossing. The project would use a multi-million dollar donation from philanthropist Morton LaKretz and other private monies for a bridge between Griffith Park and Atwater Village. The proposal has been approved by the L.A. Board of Public Works, but the L.A. City Council also has to give its approval.
Bruce Strickrott, Expedition to the Deep Slope
An octopod gets curious about the port manipulator arm of ALVIN, a deep ocean research submersible during the first systematic exploration of hydrocarbon-seep communities along the Deep Slope of the Gulf of Mexico. Federal funding for ocean exploration is tough to get.
Deep space and the deep sea have a few things in common: they’re dark, they’re cold, and they’re fairly inhospitable to human life. But the US spends a LOT more money exploring space than it does the ocean. About one hundred of the nation’s leading ocean explorers are meeting Friday and Saturday at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach as part of a high-profile effort to change that.
The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration got just around $24 million in the most recent fiscal year for ocean exploration. NASA’s budget for space exploration topped out around $3.8 billion: about 150 times more money. And NOAA funding is always on shaky ground. In the last year, Congress again kicked around the idea of killing off the National Undersea Research Program.
The Aquarium of the Pacific is co-sponsoring this weekend’s meeting with NOAA, several foundations, and Google. The meeting’s executive chair is Marcia McNutt, a marine geophysicist who until recently ran the US Geological Survey. Government scientists, policymakers, and people from the private sector will discuss exploration priorities. At the end, they plan to produce the first national ocean exploration plan, which they will present to President Obama.