Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Morning greens: Oily debates, greening grants, and Superfund sites

metroad Morning greens:

Metro will let school kids ride free on field trips. LAist reports the Metro Board approved a measure to allow “students from public and private schools in Los Angeles County to ride Metro for free to and from school-sanctioned field trips and activities during non rush-hour periods.”

Monrovia got a $995,000 Urban Greening Grant from California’s Strategic Growth Council. According to Pasadena Star-News, the grant “will be used to design and construct a new multi-use open space within the planned Station Square Transit Village development, plus a multi-use trail along the Gold Line railway frontage through Monrovia, city officials said.”

A new oil drilling rig went up at 3rd Street and Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles — “to re-vacate an oil well,” reports Beverly Press. “Workers will be using the drilling rig to re-access the well, clean it out and place a new cap at the site in preparation for a development project the A.F. Gilmore Co. is planning at the northwest corner of 3rd and Fairfax.” (via Curbed LA)

Meanwhile, LA Times reports that San Ramon, Calif.-based Chevron seeks a 30-year off-shore lease extension on a Santa Monica Bay oil terminal and plans to boost spending on exploration and production of oil and natural gas in 2011.

California’s Superfund site yields clues to history. Greenwire reports that cleanup at a Superfund site “at the Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine in California uncovered bits of Chinese pottery, showing that there was interaction between Chinese laborers at the mine and the Elem Pomo Tribe whose reservation is at the Superfund location.”

Lastly and automatedly: Robots rule at a Silicon Valley solar factory, reports Reuters. At Silicon Valley solar module maker Solyndra’s new factory, called Fab 2, “robots outnumber workers of the flesh-and-blood variety.” Watch the video to see how the robots work.

Photo: SnippyHolloW/Flickr