Governor Newsom calls for boosting water supply projects to curb California drought and climate change
The Vacaville Reporter – August 11
Governor Gavin Newsom released a broad plan on August 11 seeking to expand California’s water supplies in light of worsening droughts and water shortages from climate change. The plan sets various targets and goals, many of them aiming to capture more water in wet years to save for dry years. Among the targets are doubling the amount of recycled water produced in the state by 2030, increasing stormwater capture by a factor of 77% by 2030, raising the height of the dam at San Luis Reservoir east of Hollister, and fast-tracking seven storage projects that have funding approved from Proposition 1, including storage capacity expansion at Los Vaqueros Reservoir in Contra Costa County and construction of the new $3.9 billion Sites Reservoir in Colusa County.
Sonoma County Board of Supervisors calls for more study of revised well rules
The Press Democrat – August 9
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors put off adopting changes to the county’s water well regulations on Tuesday, citing the need for additional analysis and more public outreach. County planning staff presented supervisors with revisions intended to coordinate groundwater extraction and use with protection of commerce, recreation, navigation and habitat on surface water bodies, including the Russian River, the Petaluma River, and Sonoma Creek, which, as the California Coastkeeper Alliance alleges in a lawsuit filed last year, governmental authorities are charged with protecting under California’s “public trust” doctrine.
Attorney General joins lawsuit to halt gravel facility proposed at port
The Oaklandside – August 5
Attorney General Rob Bonta has joined a lawsuit filed by West Oakland activists to prevent construction of the Eagle Rock Aggregates open-air gravel and sand facility at the Port of Oakland. The lawsuit, filed in March, seeks an injunction to halt the project until the port completes a more thorough environmental study. The Port of Oakland approved the project in February, allowing Eagle Rock to lease land on the Outer Harbor. The lawsuit alleges that dust from rock and sand piles as high as four stories could blow into West Oakland neighborhoods, worsening air quality and already-high rates of asthma and other illnesses among local residents.
Medical sterilizing facilities in Southern California face growing scrutiny
Los Angeles Times – August 9
After months of testing for emissions near commercial sterilizers in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, the South Coast Air Quality Management District has issued violation notices to facilities in Carson, Vernon, and Ontario for improperly handling ethylene oxide, a colorless and odorless carcinogenic gas used to sterilize 50% of the country’s medical supplies. In response to the EPA’s growing concern with ethylene oxide, Southern California air regulators have increased their monitoring of sterilizing facilities, and are considering amending their rules for sterilizers. New requirements under consideration could include mandates for additional pollution control measures and fence-line monitoring.
Desalination plant construction underway in Antioch as drought worsens
CBS News – August 9
The city of Antioch sits next to the Sacramento River Delta, the largest source of fresh water in Northern California, but it is facing a water supply crisis due to drought-induced reductions of freshwater flows that have allowed seawater from San Francisco Bay to push up into the system. To increase supply, the city is building the first surface-water desalination plant in the Bay Area. The facility, located at the city's wastewater treatment plant, will employ large-scale reverse-osmosis technology to generate six million gallons of fresh water per day--about a third of the city's needs--with room for future expansion.
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