California Currents - Fall 2015

California Currents
fall 2015 edition

2015 State Legislative Round-Up

2015 was a mixed bag for the environment in the California Legislature. Clean Water Action achieved a number of big water and climate wins, but defeats at the hands of the oil industry were a jolting wake-up call about polluters’ power in the state.

First the good news: California continues to lead the nation in protecting communities from climate change impacts. SB 350, authored by Senate Pro Tem De Leon, passed on the last day of the session, mandating that 50% of California’s energy come from renewable sources and that the state double buildings’ energy efficiency by 2030. Clean Water Action also helped pass AB 888 (Bloom), banning the use of plastic microbeads in personal care products. The budget, which passed in July was also a step toward a new era of transparency on water well information so the state can better manage groundwater, and increasing water regulators’ oversight and scrutiny of oil and gas disposal and injection well permitting.

Recycling Mercury Isn’t a Choice. It’s the Law.

So why isn’t the State enforcing it?

HoneywellMercTherm.jpgIn 2006, California banned the sale of thermostats that contain mercury, as a means of protecting human health and the environment. This was only part of the solution however, since tens of millions of old thermostats — containing several hundred tons of mercury — still hang in homes and building throughout the U.S. For that reason, the California Legislature passed the Mercury Thermostat Collection Act in 2008, which requires manufacturers that sold mercury-added thermostats in California to establish a program to collect and recycle them.

To date, the industry has only collected a fraction of the number of thermostats required by law – without consequences. Take action today to tell state officials to enforce the law!

Legislative Priorities for Clean & Affordable Water, Clean Energy and More

Clean Water Action is working on a number of bills in the current legislative session to protect our drinking water, address climate change, reduce plastic pollution, and more. Learn more about our priorities and take action to tell your legislators that these issues are important to you!

Collaborating for Success: Stakeholder Engagement for Sustainable Groundwater Management Act Implementation

SGMA_Stakeholder_Engagement_White_Paper_Page_01.jpgExecutive Summary

Read the full report.

In August 2014, the California Legislature passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), marking a fundamental shift in the management of water resources in California. For the first time, groundwater in the state will have to be managed to protect the long-term reliability of the resource. SGMA is thus an important step forward, but achieving the objective of sustainability will ultimately depend on the commitment and participation of a large number of actors throughout its implementation.

New Report Outlines Strategies for Better Groundwater Management

“Collaborating for Success” provides local agencies with tools to achieve sustainable groundwater management through stakeholder engagement.

A new report out today from Community Water Center, Clean Water Fund, and Union of Concerned Scientists highlights opportunities and strategies for engaging diverse stakeholders in California’s new system of groundwater management. “Collaborating For Success” draws on a wealth of research demonstrating the critical role of stakeholder engagement in achieving successful shared resource management.

Published On: 
07/30/2015 - 11:50

Tell Babies"R"Us That Every Baby Deserves Healthy Gear

richfield_babies_r_us.jpgA new report found outdated, toxic products on Babies”R”Us store shelves. Products purchased at Babies”R”Us stores across the U.S. were screened for toxic flame retardant chemicals and six products failed the screening. Babies”R”Us competitor, Buy Buy Baby has banned seven toxic flame retardants in all products.

Tell Babies”R”Us CEO David Brandon to put babies health first.

Tell the Department of Toxic Substances Control: keep mercury pollution out of our waterways!

Between 200,000 and 460,000 U.S. born infants have mercury levels high enough to be linked to IQ loss. California’s Mercury Thermostat Collection Act  was signed into law in 2008 to keep thermostats containing mercury out of the trash so we can reduce human exposure.

Under the act, thermostat manufacturers are required to collect old thermostats that contain mercury, but to date, the industry has created only a minimal program that has resulted in the collection of just a fraction of the number required by the law – without consequences.

Take action today to tell the Department of Toxic Substances to enforce the law!

California Communications Manager

POSITION:  Communications Manager                    
LOCATION: Oakland, California 

Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund seek a motivated communications manager to play a lead role in implementing advocacy campaigns to protect clean water in California by conducting internal and external communications activities.  Clean Water Action is a national organization working for clean, safe and affordable water, prevention of health-threatening pollution, creation of environmentally-safe jobs and businesses, and empowerment of people to make democracy work. Clean Water Fund conducts research and public education and organizes grassroots coalitions and campaigns to protect the environment, public health, and  local communities.

Clean Water Action Files Legal Petition as Regulators in California's Central Valley Allow Oil Industry to Pollute Groundwater

Pit Pipes AG.jpgClean Water Action has filed a legal petition, challenging the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board's (the Regional Board) failure to enforce water quality laws. The filing cites evidence that the Regional Board is allowing oil and gas companies to pollute groundwater currently being used for drinking and irrigation. The petition, filed by Earthjustice on Clean Water's behalf, demands that the State Water Resources Control Board (the State Board) intervene and immediately close two facilities, Fee 34 and Race Track Hill, that Regional Board staff determined are polluting groundwater East of Bakersfield.  Despite the staff's findings and recommendations of immediate action, the Regional Board is allowing the facilities to continue polluting until 2018.

Regulators in California's Central Valley are Allowing the Oil Industry to Pollute Groundwater

Andrew Grinberg (CWA) 415-298-8314
Oscar Espino-Padron (Earthjustice) 415-217-2000

Published On: 
08/28/2015 - 16:08
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