The California Wild Fires – A Looming Environmental Threat

Clean-up efforts are underway following the devastating Northern California wildfires of last month. Early damage estimates are in the $3-6 billion dollar range. While property damage estimates continue to be updated, Cal Fire reports that 8,400 structures were destroyed by the fires that spanned 245,000 acres. The health impact on residents and workers, as well as the impact to the environment during cleanup efforts from toxins and fire residue in the air and watershed are serious concerns. Asbestos siding, treated wood
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Grapes of Wrath: California State Agency Acts to Further Restrict Use of Chlorpyrifos

On August 18, 2017, California’s Department of Pesticide Regulations (DPR) released an updated draft risk assessment for comments by the public on the popular agricultural pesticide chlorpyrifos. Farmers use chlorpyrifos to kill pests that attack a wide variety of crops including grapes, walnuts, oranges, almonds and cotton grown in California. In 2015, California farmers used more than 1 million pounds of chlorpyrifos on more than 60 crops. About 5 million to 10 million pounds of chlorpyrifos are used annually on
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Growing Illegal Marijuana in California Threatens Polluting the Golden State’s Waterways and Forests

Even as California prepares to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana next year, experts remain concerned that new laws and regulations still fall short in combating the thousands of illegal marijuana farms that threaten federal forest land in California. In 1996, California was not surprisingly the first to legalize medical marijuana, and last year, it became the fifth state to legalize recreational marijuana. Right now, it’s legal to use recreational marijuana, while the sale of recreational marijuana is anticipated to be
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Recent Efforts in California to Address Climate Change – New Twists on Established Strategies

As the world continues to confront the reality of a changing climate resulting from anthropogenic (human caused) releases of greenhouse gasses since the dawn of the industrial age, efforts to slow the increase of average global temperatures and combat the worst effects of that temperature rise have taken various tracks — from large-scale international agreements such as the Paris Accord (COP23) and the Kyoto Protocol, to legislative attempts such as cap-and-trade programs, to lawsuits based on international, federal, and state
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California’s Groundwater Protection Plans Seek to Protect and Preserve the State’s Most Scarce Resource

This past winter, California finally experienced the rain it had been desperately awaiting for several years. The state Department of Water Resources is tracking more than 22 million acre-feet of water in its reservoirs, hoping that it will replenish the losses sustained from 2012 onward when a drought began ravaging the state. While California residents must be excited at the prospect of longer showers, state water officials are researching how to best make the bounty last. California precipitation is unpredictable,
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