California Environmental Law and Policy Update - August 30, 2013

by Allen Matkins
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Environmental and Policy Focus

South Coast Air Quality Management District to begin monitoring air pollution alongside Southern California freeways

Los Angeles Times - Aug 25

Air quality regulators will begin monitoring pollution levels near major Southern California traffic corridors next year. Under new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requirements, air pollution monitors will be installed at four sites next to some of the region's busiest freeways. Similar steps will occur in more than 100 big cities across the country.

Contentious LA Port litigation comes to an end

Trucking Info - Aug 26

After five years, the fight over the Port of Los Angeles’s concession plan has come to an end. Last Thursday the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California issued a permanent injunction barring implementation of the three provisions of the plan that trucking interests adamantly opposed. Judge Christina Snyder closed the book on the Port’s effort to require drayage drivers to become carrier employees, and on its off-street parking and placarding requirements. These were key provisions of the 2008 concession agreement that the Port instituted as part of its effort to reduce diesel emissions in and around its facilities. The American Trucking Association objected to them, winning reversal of the employment mandate in a federal appeals court, and reversal of the other two controversial provisions in the U.S. Supreme Court last June. Meanwhile, the Port is reporting that its Clean Trucks Program has contributed to a 79% drop in diesel particulate matter over the past seven years.

Acidizing could rival fracking in Monterey Shale

San Francisco Chronicle - Aug 25

Companies trying to extract oil from the vast Monterey Shale formation beneath Central California have been pumping acids underground to dissolve the rock and free the petroleum within. Some experience suggest that this process, known as "acidizing" a well, may be more effective than hydraulic fracturing in this formation, which is estimated to hold as many as 15.4 billion barrels of oil.

Bill in the California Legislature to regulate hydraulic fracturing

Los Angeles Times - Aug 21

Legislation designed to regulate the practice of hydraulic fracturing in California won the support of some environmental groups but not others, and it encountered opposition from petroleum industry representatives as well.

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