Sustainable Development Update - April 2018 #2

by Allen Matkins
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Sustainable Development Focus

Major California housing bill narrowed before its first legislative debate

LOS ANGELES TIMES - Apr 10 Ahead of its first legislative committee hearing scheduled for next week, a Bay Area lawmaker has narrowed his bill aimed at building more housing near transit across California. Under the newly amended Senate Bill 827 (SB 827) from Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), cities would be allowed to restrict building heights to four or five stories, down from a maximum of eight stories, within a half-mile of rail and ferry stops. Wiener also limited changes surrounding bus stops. The new version of the bill wouldn’t mandate height increases around bus stops, instead allowing for increased density and lower parking requirements. It also would apply only at bus stops with frequent service throughout the day, rather than just during rush hour. SB 827 tries to address the state’s longstanding shortage of homes and a push by climate regulators to build near mass transit through dramatically changing development rules, particularly in the state’s largest metropolitan areas.

Port of Long Beach begins pilot program to reduce pollution

THE PRESS-TELEGRAM - Apr 4 Nine gantry cranes at the Port of Long Beach will become fully electric thanks to a new pilot program intended to reduce pollution at the nation’s second busiest port. The project also includes purchasing 12 battery-electric yard tractors and converting four LNG trucks into plug-in hybrid-electric yard tractors, officials said. The project, funded by a $9.7 million grant from the California Energy Commission, will bring 25 vehicles that are zero- or near zero-emissions to marine terminals for one year to test their performance. The project is expected to reduce greenhouse gases by more than 1,323 tons and smog-causing nitrogen oxides by 27 tons each year.

Apple hits 100% renewables goal

PV-TECH - Apr 10 Just a few days after Google announced that it had officially hit its 100 percent renewable energy goal, Apple has now made the same claim. Apple’s global facilities, including retail stores, offices, data centers, and co-located facilities in 43 countries. are now powered with completely with clean energy. The company has also announced that nine more of its manufacturing partners have committed to power all of their Apple production with 100 percent clean energy. Apple currently has 25 operational renewable energy projects around the world, totaling 626 megawatts of generation capacity, with 286 megawatts of solar PV generation coming online just in 2017. Among its major projects, Apple’s enormous new headquarters in Cupertino, named Apple Park, will be powered by a 17-megawatt onsite rooftop solar installation and 4 megawatts of biogas fuel cells, all controlled by a microgrid with battery storage.

L.A. cuts required parking spaces for Angels Landing mega project

THE REAL DEAL - Apr 6 The development team behind one of downtown’s most ambitious projects is banking on a less car-dependent future for Los Angeles, a move that could also increase the amount of commercial development in the city. Claridge Partners founder Ricardo Pagan said earlier this week at a Bisnow event that the 2-million-square-foot mixed-use Angels Landing project will have just 465 parking spaces for 675 residential units, two hotels, food hall, an elementary school, and 45,000 square feet of retail space. The number is significantly less than what Los Angeles now requires, but Claridge and its partners — McFarlane Partners and The Peebles Corporation — aren’t snubbing city rules. The city owns the Angels Landing site, and Pagan said city officials asked them to provide fewer vehicle spaces for the project, which means the city could do the same elsewhere in the area.

Wynn Las Vegas announces latest renewable energy step

SOLAR INDUSTRY MAGAZINE - Apr 10 Luxury resort Wynn Las Vegas has announced that its IT infrastructure, housed at Switch’s Core Campus data center in Las Vegas, is being powered by 100 percent renewable energy. This is the latest step in Wynn’s ongoing effort to reduce its carbon footprint and increase clean energy use across multiple areas of the resort. Switch was able to retire over 835 geothermal and solar renewable energy credits (RECs) in 2016 and expects to retire over 850 in 2017 on behalf of Wynn Las Vegas. Independently tracked and verified, each REC is proof that one megawatt-hour of electricity was generated from an eligible renewable energy resource and delivered to the energy grid.

SANDAG settles climate change study lawsuit

KPBS - Apr 9 A legal battle against the San Diego Association of Government (SANDAG)'s long-term transportation plan ended last Friday when the agency and the environmental group plaintiffs settled out of court. The settlement comes after the California Supreme Court issued a decision in favor of SANDAG last July, ruling that it followed the proper state law while conducting a 2011 study concerning climate change and the region's long-term transportation plan. The Supreme Court's ruling overturned only the greenhouse gas study issue, leaving undisturbed the decision by an appellate court that ruled against SANDAG on other issues. The state's high court remanded the remaining issues raised in the lawsuit to a lower court. Friday's settlement marks the closure of those issues. SANDAG will pay $1.7 million in attorney's fees to various environmental groups, and the settlement resulted in the decertification of SANDAG's 2050 Regional Transportation Plan. "This will have no practical impact because the document has since been replaced by the latest version of the (Environmental Impact Report) and (Regional Transportation Plan) adopted by the board in 2015," the agency said in a statement.

DOE partnership targets manufacturing sustainability

PROUD GREEN BUILDING - Apr 9 The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) have formed the Sustainability in Manufacturing partnership to advance energy approaches. Through the partnership fostered by DOE’s Better Plants program, the organizations will work together to help U.S. manufacturers drive energy productivity improvements and accelerate adoption of energy-efficient technologies. The U.S. as a whole spends more than $200 billion a year to power manufacturing plants. Through the Better Plants program, nearly 200 leading manufacturers nationally set specific energy efficiency goals and share innovative energy reduction strategies.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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