Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Morning greens: Rainy Metro rides to oil booms in Volts

stormlede morning greens After the rain came the wind. LA Now reports “Friday will be colder still, with frost in the valleys overnight, but no precipitation along the coast or in the valleys. Rain could move in again Saturday, potentially affecting the 122nd Rose Parade in Pasadena, although the parade-goers may have mostly chilly temperatures to endure.”

Calif. asked Obama to declare the rain-soaked state a disaster. LAist reports that “acting California Governor Abel Maldonado sent a detailed letter to the White House requesting that President Obama declare the state a “major disaster” in order to release federal funds to aid in the response to our recent run of wet and wild winter storms.”

Go green to the Rose Bowl. Metro will provide 24-hour rail and Orange Line service Friday for the parade and big game. However, according to LA Now, “The stormy weather is causing transportation officials to warn about possible weather-related delays on the light-rail service to the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl,” reports L.A. Now. Metro will also provide free rides on all bus and rail lines from 9 pm on Dec. 31 to 2 am Jan. 1.

San Francisco tells pharmaceuticals to take back its drugs for safe disposal. TriplePundit reports that earlier this month, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed the Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance, which “calls for pharmaceutical companies to support, with funding, the costs of running a take-back program for proper (safe) disposal of unused over the counter and prescription (Rx) medicine and drugs.”

Endangered Calif. frog population gets a jump-start. “Scientists in California, working with the San Diego Zoo, are taking extraordinary steps to save an endangered frog,” reports NPR. Still, “Conservationists say not enough is being done to save these animals whose health says a lot about both the water and the land around us.”

In BP oil spill news: Fishing nets killed more turtles than BP oil, according to the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Jane Lubchenco. That’s what NY Times’ Green reports: “the majority of the 600 dead turtles found during the spill appear to have been killed by fishing operations, not oil.”

Lastly and greasily: GM plans to recycle Gulf oil booms into parts for the Chevrolet Volt. Reports Reuters: “About 100,000 pounds of boom material that had been placed along 100 miles of the Alabama and Louisiana coasts in the wake of the BP oil spill are being repurposed as radiator air deflectors for the Volt, an electric hybrid car.”

Photo: Looking east from Seal Beach at the mouth of the San Gabriel River as the storm moved inland on Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010. (Susan Valot/KPCC)