getting to the source of plastics and trash in our waterwaysClean Water Action wanted to know where all the plastics and trash in the world’s oceans and inland waterways, such as the San Francisco Bay, are coming from. Research has long held that 80% of ocean debris is generated from land-based sources. It enters waterways through the storm drain system or gets blown into waterways from open garbage dumps and trash containers. But where is all that trash originating? There research just wasn’t there.
In summer 2009 Clean Water Fund collaborated with three other organizations to launch a community-based research process with the goal of documenting the economic, social, and potential health impacts of nitrate contamination of drinking water in the San Joaquin Valley. The project leverages the combined strength of technically rigorous research, grassroots leadership by affected communities, and seasoned policy analysis and advocacy. The new understanding generated by the research isbeing applied in community education and organizing, policy development, and advocacy to achieve safe and affordable water for all residents of the San Joaquin Valley. Read the Report here
"This measure addresses a very serious public health and planning problem in California that has for too long been largely hidden from view," said Wolk. "There are hundreds of underserved communities in this state, many of them in my district. They are home to an estimated one million Californians who lack basic necessities such as clean drinking water, adequate sewage disposal and other critical infrastructure.
(San Francisco) - Senator Alan Lowenthal's bill, SB 568, which would phase out the use of polystyrene foam food containers by January 1, 2016, passed the Senate and two committees in the Assembly. Because it didn't have enough votes to pass out of the Assembly this year, Senator Lowenthal decided to hold the bill and bring it up for a vote next year. "No one thought we would get SB 568 as far as we did" said Senator Lowenthal. He added, "This is a major accomplishment. Hundreds of organizations, and thousands of individuals across the state - support our efforts. We will use the interim to continue to gain momentum and support. I am committed to this endeavor and am looking forward to 2012 as the year California becomes the first state in the nation to phase out the use of polystyrene foam food-ware."
(Long Beach) – A just released study by the Algalita Marine Research Foundation shows that foam packaging is the most common type of trash flowing from the Greater Los Angeles area into its two main rivers, the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers. According to research scientist Charles Moore, “our investigation of the debris flowing from urban Los Angeles streets to the rivers found that, in terms of the number of pieces of debris, 71% were foam.”
Seeking to prevent underground water contamination, a group of environmentalists is trying to regulate the way companies drill for oil in California.
In a process known as hydraulic fracturing or "fracking," oil companies inject a combination of water, chemicals and sand into the ground to induce cracks, thereby stimulating the flow of oil and natural gas. The process has been used in California for more than four decades.
Supporters of the bill are concerned that there is currently no oversight or regulation regarding the process.
Water with the highest concentrations of arsenic was collected from a juvenile probation camp in Lancaster, where levels were measured at roughly seven times the recommended maximum threshold, the report states.
The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has published a recently updated advisory on fish consumption in the San Francisco Bay.Their report contains recommendations on which fish are suitable for human consumption and in what quantities. Toxins that end up in the bay also end up in fish through the food they eat. It is important to limit human consumption of fish due to these toxic substances.
One of them, state Sen. Sam Blakeslee, who represents a portion of Santa Cruz County, bucked industry pressure to pass SB 568 which will phase out polystyrene foam also known as "Styrofoam" take-out food containers by 2016. Votes cast by Blakeslee and Tom Harman, who represents Orange County, were crucial to the bill's passage out of the Senate with the bare minimum of 21 votes. After intense industry lobbying, three Senate Democrats withheld their votes on the floor in an attempt to kill the bill silently, and three other Democrats voted "no" and opposed it.